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

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Enter to win THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY by Denise Kiernan

Book giveaway over at Riffle! Three copies available. Only eight days left!

rifflenonfiction:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

image

THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY was hailed by top media outlets as “fascinating” and “a phenomenal story” when it was first published earlier this year. It hit The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times Best Seller lists, made Amazon’s Top 100 Best Books of…

Autographed and Personalized Books for the Holidays

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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!

A friend sent this along knowing I’d love it.  
 "In 1951, A.C. Gilbert, inventor of the ERECTOR set, released the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab. Using real radioactive materials, one could witness mist trails created by particles of ionizing radiation. 
   The set included four Uranium-bearing ore samples, and originally sold for $49.50, and one could order replacement radioactive materials.   Note: Geiger Counter sold separately.”  
   

A friend sent this along knowing I’d love it.
"In 1951, A.C. Gilbert, inventor of the ERECTOR set, released the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab. Using real radioactive materials, one could witness mist trails created by particles of ionizing radiation.

The set included four Uranium-bearing ore samples, and originally sold for $49.50, and one could order replacement radioactive materials. 

Note: Geiger Counter sold separately.”

 

"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 www.archives.gov/atlanta/wwii-symposium
For more information on the Southern Home Front holdings of the National Archives at Atlanta, visit our online exhibit at http://nationalarchivesatlanta.omeka.net/exhibits/show/wwii
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 tohttp://www.archives.gov/atlanta/holdings/index.html
For questions about the symposium, contact:
Joel Walker
Education Specialist
National Archives at Atlanta
770-968-2530

Dates set for " The Girls of Atomic City" National Tour

Girls of Atomic City — National Tour in May & June

I’m hitting the road in May and June to promote my book, The Girls of Atomic City. Here’s the list of cities, bookstores, and events. The first half is a driving tour through the Southeast; the second half will see me bopping around the U.S. to various bookstores and festivals. If our paths cross, stop by and say “hi”!

SOUTHERN DRIVING TOUR

Charlotte, NC

Thursday, May 2

Park Road Books 7 pm

4139 Park Rd.

Charlotte, NC

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Greenville, SC

Friday, May 10

Fiction Addiction 12 pm

Venue: City Range Restaurant

615 Haywood Rd.

Greenville, SC

*Lunch Event & Signing

Nashville, TN

Tuesday, May 14

Parnassus Books 6:30 pm

3900 Hillsboro Pike

Nashville, TN

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Raleigh, NC

Thursday, May 16

Quail Ridge Books 7:30 pm

3522 Wade Ave.

Raleigh, NC

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Southern Pines, NC

Friday, May 17

Country Bookshop 4:30 pm

140 NW Broad St.

Southern Pines, NC

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Chapel Hill, NC

Saturday, May 18

Flyleaf Books Noon

752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Chapel Hill, NC

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Knoxville, TN

Tuesday, May 21

Union Ave Books 6 pm

Venue: The East Tennessee History Center Auditorium

601 Gay St.

Knoxville TN

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, June 4

A Cappella Books 7 pm

Venue: Carter Presidential Library

441 Freedom Parkway

Atlanta, GA

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

August 30 - September 1, 2013

Decatur Festival of Books

Details TBD

Sylva, NC

Saturday, June 29

City Lights Bookstore 6:30 pm

3 East Jackson St.

Sylva, NC

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

* * *

*NATIONAL TOUR

Milwaukee, WI

Saturday, June 8

Boswell Books 2 pm

2559 N Downer Ave.

Milwaukee, WI

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Chicago, IL

Sunday, June 9

Chicago Tribune Printers Row Festival

Solo Presentation

Details TBD

Lexington, KY

Wednesday, June 12

Joseph-Beth Booksellers 7 pm

161 Lexington Green Circle

Lexington KY

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Denver, CO

Friday, June 14

Tattered Cover 7:30 pm

2526 East Colfax Ave.

Denver, CO

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, June 15

Vroman’s Bookstore 4 pm

695 E. Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

San Francisco, CA

Monday, June 17

Book Passage 6 pm

1 Ferry Building

San Francisco, CA

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Seattle, WA

Wednesday, June 19

Elliot Bay Book Company 7pm

1521 Tenth Ave.

Seattle, WA

*Talk, Q&A, Signing

Albuquerque, NM

Friday, June 21

Bookworks 

Albuquerque, NM

Venue: National Atomic Museum

daggyland:

You can hear my wife Denise Kiernan talking about her new book The Girls of Atomic City via this link from this interview which aired this morning on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Denise was interviewed along with two of the women she profiles in the book.

The article accompanying the audio link also includes a free chapter of the book.

* * *

Geez, I hope this post comes through okay. Been having problems. More stuff has been going on, too. Will post about it soon.

Thanks, baby! Homemade pizza for you later!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this video about Caravaggio (one of my fave painters) as juicily described (better than I ever could) by my darling, Giulia Bernardini. Art fans take note: Giulia, an  M.A., instructor of art history and humanities, will be teaching Sensuality and Splendor in Rome, Italy, this summer. It is well worth your time and dime to join this one-week, on-site art seminar that will examine the High Renaissance and Baroque art in the Eternal City! I, for one, can tell you that Giulia’s knowledge, passion and personality are a RARE combination, best sampled in one of the greatest cities on the planet. For full details, visit wonderfeast.com

Goodreads | Book giveaway for The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

Thanks Touchstone Books and Joseph D’Agnese for setting up this giveaway of my upcoming book over at Goodreads.

The Next Big Thing—my turn in the hot seat

Recently, my husband, author Joseph D’Agnese,  “tagged” me in his “The Next Big Thing” blog post. “Next Big Thing” works like this: one writer answers some questions about her next book and then passes that blog post along to other writers she knows, “tagging” them. (See end of this post for my author picks.) Those writers then answer the same questions a week from now and so it continues, kind of like a chain letter, but without the threats of doom and dread.

So now, tag—I’m it. 

1) What is the title of your next book?

The Girls of Atomic City. Here’s a look at the cover:

image

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Years ago, while researching another project, I came across a fantastic black-and-white photograph by Ed Westcott. In the photo, two rows of young women sat on stools in front of large panels covered in knobs and dials. The caption next to the photo explained that these young women, many right out of high school in rural Tennessee, were working to help enrich uranium for the first atomic bomb…only they didn’t know that at the time. I was instantly hooked and began researching the town—Oak Ridge, TN—and tracking down people who had worked there during the war. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Narrative non-fiction, narrative history.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love to see Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone portray young women in an adaptation of this story. I was really mesmerized by Lawrence’s layered performance in Winter’s Bone.  

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Young women travel to a secret city in East Tennessee to work, unbeknownst to them, on the world’s first atomic bomb.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I took the traditional route, start to finish. The book was represented by my agent, Yfat Reiss Gendell, of Foundry Literary + Media, and will be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster on March 5, 2013.

I am looking into self-pubbing some upcoming works that I think would have trouble finding a more traditional home. I love the increasing number of options that working writers have today. 

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Oy, that question is almost impossible to answer. I often have several projects at different stages of completion at any one time. I might be reviewing copy edited pages of a completed book while I’m doing initial research for a new book and writing a first draft of my whatever project is in what I call “first position”. That, for me, is one of the hardest things about the writing life: managing several projects at once. This particular book has been in my life for nearly seven years, and I have done countless drafts. I also spent a lot of time outlining and revising that outline before I started writing. So, time to complete the first draft? Maybe 6 months? But that doesn’t reflect all the organizing and planning and interviews and outlining that preceded that, the most intense period of writing.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Also a tough question. I’ve heard publishing people who read the proposal and early drafts compare Girls of Atomic City to Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, which I took as a huge compliment. I can see why they would say that, though. Both are a look at significant moments in history through the eyes of the everyday folk who lived through them.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My curiosity is often the jumping off point for anything I write about and this story is no different. However, had I not found the surviving workers from Oak Ridge to be as inspiring as I did, I may not have kept with this project and seen it through. I loved doing those interviews, and found the women—and men—who lived through this experience to be remarkably fascinating.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The book is divided both visually (thanks to typesetting) and thematically according to the two “worlds” of the Manhattan Project: those who knew a good bit about what was going on, and those who knew next to nothing. In this way, the reader “knows” more than the main characters, the women, as the book progresses.

And there you have it. Now, it is my pleasure to introduce and “tag” Kim Ruehl. Please check out her blog and see what she’s been working on. I hope you’ll be moved to support her work along the way!

—Denise

The Next Big Thing—my turn in the hot seat

Recently, my husband, author Joseph D’Agnese,  “tagged” me in his “The Next Big Thing” blog post. “Next Big Thing” works like this: one writer answers some questions about her next book and then passes that blog post along to other writers she knows, “tagging” them. (See end of this post for my author picks.) Those writers then answer the same questions a week from now and so it continues, kind of like a chain letter, but without the threats of doom and dread.

So now, tag—I’m it. 

1) What is the title of your next book?

The Girls of Atomic City. Here’s a look at the cover:

image

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Years ago, while researching another project, I came across a fantastic black-and-white photograph by Ed Westcott. In the photo, two rows of young women sat on stools in front of large panels covered in knobs and dials. The caption next to the photo explained that these young women, many right out of high school in rural Tennessee, were working to help enrich uranium for the first atomic bomb…only they didn’t know that at the time. I was instantly hooked and began researching the town—Oak Ridge, TN—and tracking down people who had worked there during the war. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Narrative non-fiction, narrative history.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love to see Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone portray young women in an adaptation of this story. I was really mesmerized by Lawrence’s layered performance in Winter’s Bone.  

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Young women travel to a secret city in East Tennessee to work, unbeknownst to them, on the world’s first atomic bomb.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I took the traditional route, start to finish. The book was represented by my agent, Yfat Reiss Gendell, of Foundry Literary + Media, and will be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster on March 5, 2013.

I am looking into self-pubbing some upcoming works that I think would have trouble finding a more traditional home. I love the increasing number of options that working writers have today. 

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Oy, that question is almost impossible to answer. I often have several projects at different stages of completion at any one time. I might be reviewing copy edited pages of a completed book while I’m doing initial research for a new book and writing a first draft of my whatever project is in what I call “first position”. That, for me, is one of the hardest things about the writing life: managing several projects at once. This particular book has been in my life for nearly seven years, and I have done countless drafts. I also spent a lot of time outlining and revising that outline before I started writing. So, time to complete the first draft? Maybe 6 months? But that doesn’t reflect all the organizing and planning and interviews and outlining that preceded that, the most intense period of writing.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Also a tough question. I’ve heard publishing people who read the proposal and early drafts compare Girls of Atomic City to Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, which I took as a huge compliment. I can see why they would say that, though. Both are a look at significant moments in history through the eyes of the everyday folk who lived through them.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My curiosity is often the jumping off point for anything I write about and this story is no different. However, had I not found the surviving workers from Oak Ridge to be as inspiring as I did, I may not have kept with this project and seen it through. I loved doing those interviews, and found the women—and men—who lived through this experience to be remarkably fascinating.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The book is divided both visually (thanks to typesetting) and thematically according to the two “worlds” of the Manhattan Project: those who knew a good bit about what was going on, and those who knew next to nothing. In this way, the reader “knows” more than the main characters, the women, as the book progresses.

And there you have it. Now, it is my pleasure to introduce and “tag” Kim Ruehl. Please check out her blog and see what she’s been working on. I hope you’ll be moved to support her work along the way!

—Denise

Manhattan Project National Park Round-Up

“This is a major chapter of American and world history. We should preserve what’s left.”

—Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation

As the 112th Congress prepares to wrap up, supporters of an effort to preserve sites associated with the Manhattan Project—in Los Alamos, NM, Hanford, WA, and Oak Ridge, TN— are hoping for another vote on a measure to create a national park that would commemorate work done at all three sites. 

The New York Times, Boston Globe, and International Business Times have recently weighed in. Read more at the links below.

New York Times 

Boston Globe

International Business Times

Andrew Jackson's proclamation for Congress. Via National Archives.

todaysdocument:

congressarchives:

On December 10, 1832, just weeks after South Carolina nullified the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832, President Andrew Jackson sent this proclamation to Congress, arguing that states did not have the right to nullify federal law.

President Andrew Jackson’s Proclamation Regarding the Nullification Crisis, 12/10/1832, Records of the U.S. Senate (ARC 595383)

todaysdocument : 
 
  Hiroshima  
 
 At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column.Two planes of the 509th Composite Group, part of the 313th Wing of the 20th Air Force, participated in this mission, one to carry the bomb, the other to act as escort, 08/06/1945

todaysdocument:

Hiroshima

At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column.Two planes of the 509th Composite Group, part of the 313th Wing of the 20th Air Force, participated in this mission, one to carry the bomb, the other to act as escort, 08/06/1945