The U.S. military called its Oak Ridge, Tenn., facility "Site X." During World War II, thousands of workers there enriched uranium for the first atom bomb — even if they didn't know it at the time. Author Denise Kiernan's new book, The Girls of Atomic City, follows some of the women who worked there.
When 18th century Jewish peddler Jacob Cerf reappears in the 21st century, he finds he can read minds and will people to do his bidding — but he's also a common housefly. Rebecca Miller's Jacob's Folly traces Jacob's mission to get back at God.
Journalist Hedrick Smith has spent decades reporting on the changes, large and small, that contributed to the decline of the middle class. Kojo talks to him about how we got here and what it will take to bridge the class divide.
Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck has the weight of the world upon him — no friends, an alcoholic father and a brother who has just been injured in Vietnam. But the protagonist of this NPR Backseat Book Club book finds solace in an unlikely place — the pages of Audubon's Birds of America.
Marisa Silver's new novel imagines the meeting of a Depression-era photographer and her now-iconic subject. Giving the characters different names but similar stories to their real-life counterparts, Silver tackles big questions about the morality of art.
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