Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
4.01/5 by 3332 users

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

by

Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program—and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now.

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.

Title:Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0062363603
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:368 pages

    Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race Reviews

  • Katie
    Sep 25, 2016

    I want EVERYBODY to read this. It's a story you need to hear. It will move you, it will surprise you, it will frustrate you and it will inspire you. No matter your gender, ethnicity, race or creed, yo...

  • Amanda
    Jan 04, 2017

    Hidden Figures tell the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who blazed the trail for others to follow in the fields of mathem...

  • Andrew
    Oct 20, 2016

    From my youth, I have always been interested in the space race. So all the way through reading "Hidden Figures", I was asking myself why haven't I ever heard about the African American Women Scientist...

  • Ben Babcock
    Jan 12, 2017

    No, but seriously, did you expect anything less of a rating from me? This book is kickass. It is literally everything I have wanted in a science history book for a while.Hidden Figures details the liv...

  • Taryn Pierson
    Sep 29, 2016

    I was beyond excited to read this book when I first heard about it, but when I found out there's a movie version coming out in January...well, is it too cheesy to say my interest rocketed into outer s...

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    Oct 19, 2016

    This was very inspirational, and I was greatly moved by the story of these women's contributions. Part of me wants to march out and get a mathematics degree and level up, because these women were by f...

  • Kelly
    Sep 19, 2016

    What a story. I'm so glad Shetterly told it and I am so excited to see how they put this on the big screen. ...

  • Kazen
    Sep 03, 2016

    There is so much history that we don't know about. Some of it is hinted at in textbooks - conversations that may have taken place in closed rooms, people who may have helped behind the scenes. These a...

  • Holly
    Dec 26, 2016

    My original "review" was this - two flippant little sentences to serve as a placeholder for an eventual "real" review: Glad that's over. Not bad but strangely boring. (In the interim 8 people "liked" ...

  • Brian Clegg
    Sep 28, 2016

    This is a truly remarkable human story, which is why it gets four stars despite a couple of significant issues. Many non-fiction literary agents have a mantra of 'Is it an article?' for a book proposa...