Book Review HIDDEN FIGURES


tlc tour hostHidden Figures cover• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (September 6, 2016)The Book

 

 

THE BOOK

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 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 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 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 they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

 

 

 

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Margot Lee Shetterly AP Photo by Aran Shetterly

 

Margot Lee Shetterly grew up in Hampton, Virginia, where she knew many of the women in Hidden Figures. She is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and the recipient of a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for her research on women in computing. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Find out more about Margot at her website and connect with her on Twitter.

 

MY REVIEW

I am mostly a reader of fiction – give me just about any story and I will read it.  I must sincerely thank TLC Book Tours for turning me on to the joyous experience of reading great non-fiction.  Such a story is Hidden Figures.  It is a phenomenal true story, beautifully told by Margot Lee Shetterly.

You may hear ‘computer’ and think ‘laptop’!  But the word computer actually means he who computes – or in the case of Hidden Figures – SHE who computes!  These computers were not only human but also female and black – wow!   There were signs at Langley for the proper place for ‘colored computers’ and while the image that comes to mind prior to reading this book might be purple or paisley, after reading it, ‘colored computers’ conjures the image of a brilliant and brave group of women of color who were also mathematicians!

This story begins when “…the Negro’s ladder to the American dream was missing rungs…”  and when the struggle was “…to be twice as good to get half as far”.  But you have read the synopsis and you already know what this book is about.  I am sorry, on the one hand that this important part of history had not yet been brought to light, on the other hand, I must say that the telling was meant to be told by Ms Shetterly.  She is a wonderful writer and a meticulous researcher.  If you put one book on your MUST READ THIS FALL – please let it be Hidden Figures.  While I am sure the movie will be inspired – please take the time to read this inspirational tale first.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

 

ENJOY THE REST OF THE TOUR!

Tuesday, September 6th: A Bookish Way of Life

Wednesday, September 7th: Doing Dewey

Thursday, September 8th: Tina Says…

Friday, September 9th: Sapphire Ng

Monday, September 12th: Read. Write. Repeat.

Tuesday, September 13th: Kritters Ramblings

Wednesday, September 14th: Back Porchervations

Thursday, September 15th: A Bookish Affair

Friday, September 16th: Reading Reality

Monday, September 19th: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, September 20th: In the Garden of Eva

Thursday, September 22nd: View from the Birdhouse

Friday, September 23rd: From L.A. to LA

Monday, September 26th: Man of La Book

Tuesday, September 27th: Gspotsylvania: Ramblings from a Reading Writer Who Rescues Birds and Beasts

Wednesday, September 28th: Staircase Wit

Friday, September 30th: Cold Read

http://www.npr.org/2016/09/25/495179824/hidden-figures-how-black-women-did-the-math-that-put-men-on-the-moon?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160925

 

 

 

 

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Chicken Happy Hour


Throwback Thursday on Freakin Friday! Doing this 2 years ago – still doing this every evening! Drinkin with Chickins!

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Never drink alone.
Glass of wine with friends here means
Chicken Happy Hour.

In DoG We Trust

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