Written by journalist Denise Kiernan, this is the story of the beginning of the atomic warfare era and the women who helped make it happen. Beginning in the 1930s, the idea of atomic energy began to develop within the international scientific community. Then with the advent of World War II and its horrific cost to human life, the
United States government decided to
achieve the development of atomic warfare, before the enemy did. They established
several worksites to conduct this mammoth project; the largest one located in
is the one that Kiernan examines. Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Using in-depth interviews of some of the surviving workers, along with historic documents, news articles, and other sources, Kiernan describes how this project influenced such sociological trends as working women, segregation of the races, mingling of the sexes, and the rapid development of a community. This mix of history and memoir is both informative and enjoyable to read. Historic photos of the worksite accompany the text.