Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
4 journalers for this copy...
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.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book - on the one hand it is a very important story that had to be told - what heroes all of these women were, and how quickly we forget, and so many people around the world don't even realize what the United States was so very recently. I remember travelling in the US with an Italian friend and being invited to a country club which had been built because all the others were "restricted".. and she struggled to comprehend that segregation and no blacks/no Jews/no... could have existed in our lifetimes.
Parts of the story swept me up and had me pinned to the page. On the other hand, perhaps because I am reading this at the beginning of the school year with work starting up and loads of distractions, there were long passages, surely well worth taking the time to focus on and comprehend, about the technical advances being worked on, which I found rather slow-going. Math was not a particular forte of mine, so maybe it's just my age-old aversion, but I related to and appreciated the more human parts of the story far more than the more technical aspects. I know it was ground-breaking and essential, and maybe at another moment I would have the patience to get everything out of those bits.
One thing that puzzled me a bit, was that if I've understood correctly, at the time of the moon-landing, one of the people directly involved (and I've already parcelled the book so can't check the name), was in the Poconos at a sorority weekend? I would have thought she'd want to be with her colleagues.
Anyway, I'm very glad to have read this and as I said, I did greatly appreciate most of the book, just found some parts quite thick to wade through, which accounts for why it's been with me for so long!
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