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City Behind Fence: Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1942-1946

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  44 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was created by the U.S. government during World War II to aid in the construction of the first atomic bomb. Drawing on oral history and previously classified material, this book portrays the patterns of daily life in this unique setting.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 27th 1981 by Univ Tennessee Press (first published March 1981)
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Eli
Sep 15, 2013 Eli rated it it was amazing
As someone who grew up in Oak Ridge, I was amazed at how much I didn't know about the place. The pictures were great additions and I liked the way the book was broken up into sections. Some parts were more interesting than others, but I think that was just my personal preference. The personal stories at the end were a nice touch too.
Tommy
Feb 01, 2015 Tommy rated it really liked it
And while star ratings don't do a lot for me, I wish there were a 3.5 in there. The writing in this was excellent...it flowed beautifully, and read quickly. I realized, though, as I was about 2/3 of the way through, it was simply giving me, in many sections, huge quantities of numbers in literary form.

I also wish there were more interviews with people who'd lived there, beyond the six that come almost as an addendum. That was my favorite section of the book. The logistics of creating a town from
...more
Tami Traylor
Sep 07, 2011 Tami Traylor rated it liked it
This was a rather dry, academic account of what has the makings of an incredible story about a little-known chapter of American history.

As part of the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge was a city veiled in mystery. It sprung up out of the Tennessee soil as swiftly as the government agents divested the indigenous farmers of their land. It stretched for miles, cradled in the valley of a natural fortress of mountains.

It boasted, in it's heyday, the highest concentration of PhDs in the world and a scho
...more
Sara
Mar 06, 2014 Sara rated it liked it
While very interesting this book was extremely dry. Mainly just statistics about population, construction and labor, with a few anecdotal stories from interviews with residents who lived on the reservation and displaced people for the surrounding area. My Grandmother actually lived there for awhile during war-time, so it was kind of fun to learn about the place.
Carol
Jan 10, 2016 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, nonfiction
An interesting account of how the "reservation" of Oak Ridge TN came into being during WWII so that the Army had production facilities for uranium and plutonium. The book emphasizes the sociological aspects rather than the scientific and examines how the Army attempted, some times more successfully than others, to create a "normal town" in the middle of a classified military operation.
Laura
Feb 05, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
This book is a wonderful psycho-social study of a community hidden from the rest of the world for a time.
Karen
Feb 17, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
Learned some things I didn't know about my hometown.
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