Girls of Atomic City The untold story of the women who helped win World War II by Denise Kiernan. This story is the mostly unheard of stories of the women who worked to build the atomic bomb, working on the Manhattan Project. They were scientists and they were cleaners. They were educated and uneducated. They were mostly very young women working their first paying job. Most of them were away from home for the first time. No matter what their job they couldn’t talk about what they were doing, what they heard or saw. They were spied on by others and could be fired at a moment’s notice for almost anything and they could be approached to be a spy on their friends by the government. Everything they did and said could be viewed with suspicion and they were always afraid of losing this job which paid much more than they could have gotten for the same type of work anywhere else. These men and women who had lived through the depression were desperate for a job, any job to feed their family. These people were plopped into the new city that the government had just made for the project. There were no sidewalks, very little housing and mostly no places to shop or socialize in the beginning. The surrounding town people hated them and also viewed them with suspicion.
I liked this book. It had some difficult to read parts because of the science but it is not a science book. It is mostly a book on the social life of these men and women and how they survived this difficult time in our history. This book tells of prejudices of the time against women and the black race though both were very necessary to the project and for most of them the best job any of them had ever had. This book is probably for high school age readers and above.
I received this book from Touchstone for this review.