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The Right Stuff

by

The Right Stuff Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From "Americas nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)

 

Tom Wolfe is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.

Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979—the year the book was first published—Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. "The Right Stuff," he explains, "became a story of why men were willing—willing?—delighted!—to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero."

Wolfe's roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his "characters" as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot's wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne. Chuck Yeager was certainly among the fastest, and his determination to push through Mach 1—a feat that some had predicted would cause the destruction of any aircraft—makes him the book's guiding spirit.

The focus shifts to the seven astronauts. Wolfe traces Alan Shepard's sub-orbital flight and Gus Grissom's embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn's apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication and concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits.  The Right Stuff is the funniest, the most literary, and the most vivid book ever written about America's manned space program.

"Absolutely first class . . . Improbable as some of Wolfe's tales seem, I know he's telling it like it was."The Washington Post

"Splendid . . . It shows our propensity to manufacture heroes, and, just as quickly, to forget them; it shows how a scientific program was exploited for political advantage; it provides a revealing character study of seven exceptional Americans."—The Saturday Review

"Technically accurate, learned, cheeky, risky, touching, tough, compassionate, nostalgic, worshipful, jingoistic . . . The Right Stuff is superb."The New York Times Book Review

"One of the most romantic and thrilling books ever written about men who put themselves in peril."The Boston Globe

"Crammed with inside poop and racy incident . . . fast cars, booze, astro groupies, the envies and injuries of the military caste system . . . Wolfe lays it all out in brilliantly staged Op Lit scenes."—Time

"An exhilarating flight into fear, love, beauty, and fiery death."—People

Synopsis:

The first Americans in space--Yeager, Conrad, Grissom, and Glenn--battle the Russians for control of the heavens and put their lives on the line to demonstrate a quality beyond courage, in this classic by Wolfe.

Synopsis:

From "America’s nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)

 

Synopsis:

From "Americas nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)

 

About the Author

Tom Wolfe is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312427566
Author:
Wolfe, Tom
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
History
Subject:
Aeronautics & Astronautics
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Subject:
Astronautics
Subject:
Astronauts
Subject:
Astronauts -- United States.
Subject:
Astronautics -- United States.
Subject:
Engineering -- History.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Revised Edition
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books
Children's » General
Engineering » Engineering » History
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » Space Exploration
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Transportation » General

The Right Stuff Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Picador USA - English 9780312427566 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The first Americans in space--Yeager, Conrad, Grissom, and Glenn--battle the Russians for control of the heavens and put their lives on the line to demonstrate a quality beyond courage, in this classic by Wolfe.
"Synopsis" by ,
From "America’s nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)

 

"Synopsis" by ,

From "Americas nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)

 

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