City Behind A Fence: Oak Ridge, Tennessee 1942-1946
During World War II, the United States government, working through the Army Corps of Engineers, undertook an unprecedented experiment—the development of the world’s first nuclear weapon. Although the fiery conclusion of the Manhattan Project is well known, the prelude to the story—the saga of the people sequestered in the project’s three crucial support communities—has remained obscure. Built from the ground up, these “secret cities” are phenomena of special import for American social history. In City Behind A Fence, Charles W. Johnson and Charles O. Jackson chronicle the nature of daily life in Oak Ridge, a facility built in the remote back country of East Tennessee to aid in the construction of the first atomic bomb.