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Hidden Figures : The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures

The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race

Hardcover Published: 6th September 2016
ISBN: 9780062363596
Number Of Pages: 368

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The #1 New York Times bestseller

-WINNER OF ANISFIELD-WOLF AWARD FOR NONFICTION
-WINNER BLACK CAUCUS OF AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BEST NONFICTION BOOK
-WINNER NAACP IMAGE AWARD BEST NONFICTION BOOK
-WINNER NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING AND MEDICINE COMMUNICATION AWARD


The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space - a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as “Human Computers,” calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these “colored computers,” as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America’s fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these “computers,” personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, Hidden Figures recalls America’s greatest adventure and NASA’s groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of scientific achievement and technological innovation with the intimate stories of five women whose work forever changed the world—and whose lives show how out of one of America’s most painful histories came one of its proudest moments.

About the Author

Margot Lee Shetterly is an independent scholar and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award recipient, currently at work on The Human Computer Project, a digital archive of the stories of NASA’s female Human Computers. She is one of the founders of Inside Mexico Magazine, an English-language magazine for Mexico’s expat population, and in her former lives worked as an Internet executive and an investment banker. She splits her time between Hampton, Virginia and Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

Industry Reviews

-Restoring the truth about individuals who were at once black, women and astounding mathematicians, in a world that was constructed to stymie them at every step, is no easy task. Shetterly does it with the depth and detail of a skilled historian and the narrative aplomb of a masterful storyteller.---Bookreporter.com -Much as Tom Wolfe did in -The Right Stuff-, Shetterly moves gracefully between the women's lives and the broader sweep of history . . . Shetterly, who grew up in Hampton, blends impressive research with an enormous amount of heart in telling these stories--Boston Globe -Meticulous... the depth and detail that are the book's strength make it an effective, fact-based rudder with which would-be scientists and their allies can stabilize their flights of fancy. This hardworking, earnest book is the perfect foil for the glamour still to come.---Seattle Times "Meticulous... the depth and detail that are the book's strength make it an effective, fact-based rudder with which would-be scientists and their allies can stabilize their flights of fancy. This hardworking, earnest book is the perfect foil for the glamour still to come."--Seattle Times "Restoring the truth about individuals who were at once black, women and astounding mathematicians, in a world that was constructed to stymie them at every step, is no easy task. Shetterly does it with the depth and detail of a skilled historian and the narrative aplomb of a masterful storyteller."--Bookreporter.com "Much as Tom Wolfe did in "The Right Stuff," Shetterly moves gracefully between the women's lives and the broader sweep of history . . . Shetterly, who grew up in Hampton, blends impressive research with an enormous amount of heart in telling these stories--Boston Globe Meticulous the depth and detail that are the book s strength make it an effective, fact-based rudder with which would-be scientists and their allies can stabilize their flights of fancy. This hardworking, earnest book is the perfect foil for the glamour still to come. --Seattle Times" Restoring the truth about individuals who were at once black, women and astounding mathematicians, in a world that was constructed to stymie them at every step, is no easy task. Shetterly does it with the depth and detail of a skilled historian and the narrative aplomb of a masterful storyteller. --Bookreporter.com" Much as Tom Wolfe did in The Right Stuff, Shetterly moves gracefully between the women s lives and the broader sweep of history . . . Shetterly, who grew up in Hampton, blends impressive research with an enormous amount of heart in telling these stories--Boston Globe"

Book backgrounds the film

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The film with the same title has a more engaging narrative than this text. However, the book is engaging and shows how young African American women were able to develop extraordinary mathematical abilities. A different perspective of the impact of segregation on exceptional intellects living in the Southern States in 1940-1960s.

Tasmania, Australia

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33610869

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Dedication
Prologue

1. A Door Opens
2. Mobilization
3. Past Is Prologue
4. The Double V
5. Manifest Destiny
6. War Birds
7. The Duration
8. Those Who Move Forward
9. Breaking Barriers
10. Home by the Sea
11. The Area Rule
12. Serendipity
13. Turbulence
14. Angle of Attack
15. Young, Gifted and Black
16. What a Difference a Day Makes
17. Outer Space
18. With All Deliberate Speed
19. Model Behavior
20. Degrees of Freedom
21. Out of the Past, the Future
22. America is for Everybody
23. To Boldly Go

Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

ISBN: 9780062363596
ISBN-10: 006236359X
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 6th September 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.57

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