The Girls of Atomic City

  • by Denise Kiernan
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians - many of them young women from small towns across the South - were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war - when Oak Ridge's secret was revealed.
Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it - women who are now in their eighties and nineties - The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country's history.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not told very well, but interesting nonetheless

What did you like best about The Girls of Atomic City? What did you like least?

I like that it focused on the women who helped create the atomic bomb. I didn't like the way it was told. It was difficult to keep track of the characters as well as the science.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of the story was how people dealt with uncertainty and the unknown. The least interesting aspect of the story was listening to some of the women's experiences.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?


Was The Girls of Atomic City worth the listening time?


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- Vanessa

Important story of this secret city

there are many non-fiction books on Americans experience during WWII but none have affected me as much as The Girls of Atomic City. The author, Denise Kiernan, managed to take the readers though the exciting story of the highly classified race for the A-bomb while intertwining the lives of the women and men who worked at Oak Ridge. These men and women sacrificed much to help the war effort and im glad Kiernan has preserved their accounts for us to read.

This story stirred two conflicting emotions in me the reader. First, pride in what others before us have done and humility in the sacrifice they made in the face of fear and uncertainty.

Parents, add this book to your teenagers' reading list to supplement their American history studies.

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- CBlox

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios