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Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race Hardcover – Sept. 6 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 3,654 ratings

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Product details

  • Item Weight : 646 g
  • Hardcover : 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 006236359X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062363596
  • Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.97 x 22.86 cm
  • Publisher : William Morrow; 1st edition (Sept. 6 2016)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,654 ratings

Product description

Review

“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)^“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)^“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)

From the Back Cover

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture.

Before John Glenn orbited Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and entering the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades as they faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellect to change their own lives and their country’s future.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
3,654 global ratings
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Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on February 13, 2017
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Reviewed in Canada on March 28, 2017
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Reviewed in Canada on May 25, 2017
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Reviewed in Canada on April 19, 2017
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Reviewed in Canada on October 25, 2017
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Reviewed in Canada on January 15, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on June 19, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on January 25, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

OKCole
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling social more than technical history
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2018
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21 people found this helpful
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ChrisG
5.0 out of 5 stars Ana astonishing account of brilliant women and much much better than the film.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 22, 2017
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12 people found this helpful
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Brgirl
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible writing style but a wonderful story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2018
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6 people found this helpful
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Wednesday's child
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book, never mind the film.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2017
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8 people found this helpful
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Iain61
4.0 out of 5 stars An Uplifting Story - and some very readable information about the US aerospace industry and space program
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2017
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3 people found this helpful
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