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Longing for the BombOak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia$
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Lindsey A. Freeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622378

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622378.001.0001

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We Didn’t Exactly Live in a Democracy

We Didn’t Exactly Live in a Democracy

(p.80) Chapter Four We Didn’t Exactly Live in a Democracy
Longing for the Bomb

Lindsey A. Freeman

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes a particular form of democracy at play in Oak Ridge. Workers who arrived in Oak Ridge had been recruited in the name of freedom and democracy, yet paradoxically they found themselves inside a restrictive federal reservation surrounded by barbed wire, armed guards, and monitored gates. There were also no local elections, no free press, and no freedom of assembly. Workers were even forbidden to keep a journal that mentioned anything about Oak Ridge. Moreover, the workers were not supposed to share any information about their job with their co-workers or even their spouses. Thus, letters were heavily censored, and lie-detector tests were commonly employed.

Keywords:   Democracy, Oak Ridge, freedom, federal reservation, free press, local elections

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