Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
It's time for this month's Cephalopod Coffeehouse.
The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.
To join us or to visit other participants, please click on The Armchair Squid, the blogger who is the host with the most. Here we go:
My book for this month is The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story Of The Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan.
I've heard of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but I had no idea that it sprang from nowhere during World War II so that workers who were recruited--and eventually it was home to 75,000 residents--could do their part to help build the atomic bomb. The majority of these government employees did not know what they were doing. They were told not to talk about their work, not even with each other.
This book is filled with interesting facts, yet Kiernan's relaxed writing style makes it easy to read. I love all the anecdotes told by people who worked in Oak Ridge. I felt as if I could put myself in their places and feel what it was like to be there.
I want to let Kiernan tell you about her book herself:
The book has some sad stories, too, particularly regarding segregation. The workers of color had to live in their own area, usually in "hutments." I was appalled, but not terribly surprised, to learn that one black male employee who was injured in a car accident was injected with uranium. Someone wanted to study what would happen to him. The bones broken in the accident weren't set for days while he was injected and samples were taken from him. Many who worked on The Manhattan Project also suffered from feelings of guilt after the bombs were dropped.
I enjoy history, especially about World War II, and although this book is about "the girls of atomic city," information about plenty of men is included, too.
Oak Ridge still exists. The population has decreased, but remnants of the original city can be seen. A permanent exhibit about the town's part in the war is there. I don't know if it would be worth visiting. It doesn't really matter. I'm not going anywhere. But Kiernan intrigues me with this book and makes me want to learn more.
I purchased my copy of the book from Amazon at http://goo.gl/GsgLsR.
The Girls of Atomic City earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval, and as promised, it has historical ties to the movie I reviewed yesterday, Infinity (click on the title of the movie to read my review).
Happy reading! Thank you, Armchair Squid.
Infinities of love,