US history

Paperback Tour for "The Girls of Atomic City"

Yes, it’s about that time to hit the road. Here are the cities I’ll be visiting in the coming months. Check back for additional dates. Hope to see some of you out on the road!

Monday, February 24, 2014

New York, NY

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

*Event Closed


Saturday, March 1, 2014, 9:15 AM

Long Beach, CA

Long Beach Festival of Authors

Long Beach Convention Center, 110 Pine Ave.


Monday, March 3, 2014, 11:15 AM

Denver, CO

American Physical Society - Annual Meeting

Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street

*Registration Required


Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7:00 PM

South Hadley, MA

Odyssey Books, 9 College Street


Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7:30 PM

Fredericksburg, VA

University of Mary Washington

Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

1301 College Avenue

*Ticketed Event


Saturday, March 15, 2014, 5 PM

Asheville, NC

Malaprop’s Bookstore Cafe

55 Haywood Street


Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Noon

Oak Ridge, TN

ALTRUSA Literacy Luncheon

Oak Ridge High School

1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike

*Ticketed Event


Friday and Saturday, March 21 - 22, 2014, 2:00 PM

Charlottesville, VA

Virginia Festival of the Book


Monday, March 24, 2014, 7:00 PM

Austin, TX

Book People

603 N Lamar Boulevard


Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 7:00 PM

Houston, TX

Brazos Bookstore

2421 Bissonnet Street


Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 3:00 PM

Oxford, MS

Oxford Conference for the Book

Journalism Panel moderated by Curtis Wilkie

Overby Center at the University of Mississippi

555 Grove Loop, Suite 247


Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 7:00 PM

Ann Arbor, MI

Nicola’s Books

2513 Jackson Ave. (in Westgate Shopping Center)


Wednesday, April 2, 7:00 PM

Cincinnati, OH

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

2692 Madison Road


Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:00 PM

Naperville, IL

Anderson’s Book Shop

123 W. Jefferson Avenue


Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 6:00 PM

Wichita, KS

Watermark Books

4701 E. Douglas Avenue


Thursday and Friday, April 10 - 11, 2014

Boone and Hudson, NC 

Caldwell Community College

Details forthcoming

Autographed and Personalized Books for the Holidays


It’s gift-giving-buying season once again. I am, as always, working with my fantabulous independent bookstore Malaprop’s to offer personalized, autographed copies of The Girls of Atomic City and other titles. Signed books always make great gifts and autographing eReaders simply hasn’t taken off yet. I work with Malaprop’s year round, but during the holidays I get lots of questions about wrapping  and shipping and so forth.

Here’s the skinny:

The easiest way to get an autographed book is to call Malaprop’s directly at 1-800-441-9829 or 828-254-6734. The store is chock full of helpful, cheerful folks. Once one of these charmers answers the phone, just tell them…

  1. Which book you want to order and the author’s name. 
  2. How you want the book personalized. To you? To the mother-in-law you’re always trying to suck up to? Do you want it to say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “For a history buff,” or nothing at all?
  3. Give them your payment information and shipping address.

That’s it! Malaprop’s will get me in to sign and will ship your book out to you or to the person of your choice, autographed and ready to go.

But what about gift wrapping?

Yes indeed, they gift wrap. I told you they were wonderful. So, you can have that autographed book gift-wrapped AND have a gift card slapped on it. That package of holiday reading cheer will be shipped wherever you want and will arrive ready to be shoved under a tree, stuck in a (larger than usual) stocking, placed next to the menorah, or swapped at an office party.

Can I order online?

Technically, yes, but calling is much more efficient and, in the long run, will take up much less of your time.

Which books of yours can I order?

Any of them, really. Here are some of the most popular titles. Others can be found on my website.

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence

Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Constitution

Stuff Every American Should Know

The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed

Happy shopping, and thanks for supporting a local independent bookstore!

Happy Day for Books and Readers: GoodReads Choice Awards

   Download a Q&A about The Girls of Atomic City!

Thank you.

That’s right, you, the one over there who owes me nothing, whom I’ve never met, the one who isn’t related to me or feels they have to play the part of the dutiful friend. YOU.

You just happened to hear about my book somewhere. I can’t possibly know how or what struck you about it at that particular moment as you were going about your life. For some reason you looked it over and then proceeded to spend not only your hard-earned money on something I wrote but you gave that book your time as well. What’s more, you took the time to rate it, to recommend it, to pass it along virtually and verbally and even physically. And you’re not even my mom.

When I learned that The Girls of Atomic City was nominated as one of the best history and biography titles in this year’s GoodReads Choice Awards, I was happy for all of those sadly unevolved approval-seeking reasons, sure, but what is particularly satisfying about the GoodReads Choice Awards is that they are chosen by a community of readers, a group of folks connected in the magical land of the inter-webs by their love of a good book. 

In the words of nearly every nominee ever in the history of awards both great and small, “It’s great just to be nominated.” Well, guess what? It is. 

You can learn more about all the awards here. There are so many wonderful books. Give them some of your ever lovin' clicks. 

***Sign up for my mailing list here. Important news coming soon!

"We'll Back Our Boys: The Southern Home Front During World War II"

Here’s the official release and invite to a symposium at the National Archives in Atlanta at which I’ll be speaking. I can’t say enough about the Archives and how important they are to our culture, our educational institutions and our society. If you’re going to be in the area or know someone who will, please stop by and do pass on the information.
Invitation to “We’ll Back Our Boys:” The Southern Home Front During World War II, a symposium at the National Archives at Atlanta, Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Featured speakers:
Denise Kiernan, author of the New York Times Best Seller “The Girls of Atomic City” featured on the PBS News Hour and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
 Fritz Hamer, University South Caroliniana Library curator and author of “Charleston Reborn: A Southern City, Its Navy Yard and World War II, 1940-1946”
Courtney Tollison, Furman University professor, historian for the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC, and author of “We Just Did Everything We Could”
Edward A. Hatfield, Emory University Ph.D. candidate with dissertation in progress: “The Too-Busy City: The Politics of Growth and Development in Atlanta, 1946-96”
Nathan Jordan, NARA Atlanta archivist of military-related records
To promote research in its World War II Home Front records and to highlight scholarly works based on these holdings, the National Archives at Atlanta is hosting “We’ll Back Our Boys:” The Southern Home Front During World War II, a symposium on Saturday, September 21.   The nearly 7,500 cubic feet of records relating to the Southern Home Front during World War II envelop a wide variety of subtopics ranging from labor relations, transportation, ordnance production, naval intelligence, civil rights, women in the work force, and many others.  Make plans now to participate in this event at the Southeast’s largest archival facility.  
Pre-registration is required and limited to 200.  There is no cost to attend.
To register for the symposium, access
For more information on the Southern Home Front holdings of the National Archives at Atlanta, visit our online exhibit at
We encourage you to circulate this information among your staff. Professors and students of twentieth century and Southern history may take particular interest.
The National Archives at Atlanta is located at 5780 Jonesboro Road in Morrow, Georgia and holds federal records for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. For a comprehensive description of the record groups held at our repository, go to
For questions about the symposium, contact:
Joel Walker
Education Specialist
National Archives at Atlanta

Denise and Joe on WFAE's "Charlotte Talks"

Had a ball, as usual, talking with Mike Collins at WFAE in Charlotte, NC, this past Friday. From Thanksgiving to the origin of America’s name, we covered a lot in our hour-long chat. The mp3 should be available soon at the link above.