The Girls of Atomic City - A Short Review

The non-fiction account of the tens of thousands of women (and men) who labored at the factories in Oak Ridge, TN from 1942-1945. Mud everywhere and living in huts, 3 eight hour shifts a day, some in the biggest building in the world at that time, they all seemed to have a post-depression, I've-got-a-job, cheerfulness and Can Do! attitude despite the fact that no one knew more than what they were supposed to do, not at all what the whole project was about. They weren't allowed to talk about their jobs to anyone, even each other, or people they met at the many off hour social events or at the bowling alley or cafeteria. They were recruited from all over the country and checked for security purposes. The assembly of the physical plant and the workers in a relatively short time was a colossal and remarkable job. A fascinating and enjoyable read about a segment of World War II life and the effort to win the war.

A Review of Toms River

As Yvonne says non-fiction is a tough sell. Toms River reads like a thriller; unfortunately for the citizen of Toms River, NJ it is nonfiction. The riveting story of the unbelievable irresponsibility of the Toms River Chemical Company, and its Swiss owners, and the incredulous lack of response by the various government forces that be. And the eventual effectiveness of the citizens, trying to protect their children and themselves, who fought for decades to have the pollution of water and air stopped and cleaned up. Some of the clean up will not be complete until 2025 from pollution that took place from 1950 to the late eighties. Toms River, NJ and Woburn, MA are the only documented cases of a true Cancer Cluster. Woburn's pollution from leather tanneries was described in the book and movie called A Civil Action. Dan Fagin has received a Pulitzer Prize for this book and justifiably so; anyone concerned about the future of our planet and our grandchildren owes it to themselves to read this book.

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