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Their Day In The Sun (Labor And Social Change) Hardcover – October 22, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As detailed in this book, many women worked on the Manhattan Project, from physicists and mathematicians at Los Alamos to public health specialists at Oak Ridge and Hanford to chemists at the Metallurgical Lab of the University of Chicago. Working from archival files at the various labs and universities and then pursuing leads developed through personal and telephone-based interviews, the authors, both physicists, have identified several hundred women affiliated in some way with the project. Valuable because so little has been written on this subject, this book is nevertheless frustrating because of its anecdotal nature. In many cases, the text jumps from person to person, simply presenting a sentence or two about each one as though that were all the files and investigation could produce. Still, the book is quite interesting in what it reveals, both particularly about the chauvinism of the project's male management and the na?vet? of professional and support staff regarding the harmful effects of nuclear materials. Recommended for academic history of science collections.AHilary Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Of the many women who contributed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, I remember with pleasure most of the physicists who I knew quite well. It is nice to read about Los Alamos as a success story." -- Dr. Edward Teller, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

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Product Details

  • Series: Labor And Social Change
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (October 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566397197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566397193
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,181,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This work chronicles the role that women played in the Manhatten project during World War II in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, physics, health biology, etc. It also provides an interesting account of the role of women in the physics discoveries during the early twentieth century which made the development of nuclear weapons possible.
This book is especially valuable since this information has not been treated in any kind of systematic way in any previous historical accounts of the Manhatten project.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although attempts to profile female contributions to great undertakings are appreciated, �Their day in the sun,� is fundamentally flawed by the authors� bias toward academic, primarily physicist, researchers and by the authors� failure to understand the mechanisms and downstream effects of Manhattan Project technologies. This has lead to a poorly organized document that spends pages on the contributions of a truck driver, secretary, or clerk whose husband was a Los Alamos or Chicago Met Lab physicist while ignoring the contributions of the tens of thousands of women who worked at other facilities, often in professional scientific or engineering capabilities. This is partially due to the uniqueness and historic significance of the atom bomb. However, other successes growing out of the Manhattan Project touch our lives every day: the medical isotopes that delineate a blocked heart artery, the separations that make good vaccines and new plastics possible, and the nuclear power reactors that remain our cleanest electric energy generators.
The authors indicate that the limitations on their research imposed by the availability of published documents or potential interviewees were responsible for their omissions. However, in preparing reviews of the technology developed at a variety of Manhattan Project sites, my working group found reasonable access to both people and written records. Also, epidemiological researchers who have evaluated clinical effects, mortality, and morbidity of Manhattan project staff have been able to contact significant portions of former workers. Recent epidemiological studies of �female� illnesses (e. g., breast cancer) make the omission of the bulk of the Manhattan Project�s female staff for reasons other than bias or intellectual laxness difficult to understand.
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Their Day In The Sun (Labor And Social Change)
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