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2 Burnside Astronomy- Space Exploration

Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science

by

Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A daughter's journey to rediscover her father and understand the culture of space engineers.

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father — an archetypal, remote, rocket engineer — disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the brilliant result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL; examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her acclaimed book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

Review:

"The success of the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission — and the fact that its dynamic director, Donna Shirley, was a woman — reminded many of how far both space exploration and NASA's male-dominated culture had come. Lord (Forever Barbie) ought to know. Her dad, a rocket scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California during the '60s, had a personality as distant as the stars, and his anachronistic views about women left Lord 'driven by terror' to flee to college. Upon her return to JPL 30 years later to learn what made engineers, and her dad, tick, Lord confirmed that he'd simply 'embraced the values of his profession: work over family, masculine over feminine, repression over emotion.' WWII and McCarthyism had helped create JPL's cowboy culture; for years, the few women who worked there were encouraged to compete for the title of Miss Guided Missile, a beauty and popularity contest. Homosexuals, meanwhile, were barred from employment, even while German engineers who'd committed Nazi war crimes were welcomed with open arms. It wasn't until Donna Shirley arrived in the 1970s that the center's top-down, male-oriented management approach gradually shifted to a 'partnership' model. This is an often fascinating work, and cultural critic Lord's sharp turns from family affairs to JPL history result in wonderful discoveries for readers. Agent, Eric Simonoff. (Jan.) Forecast: This quirky mix of women's history, family memoir and science could reach a wide audience, aided by a blurb from Dava Sobel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Creative and discerning, Lord writes with both deep feeling and marvelously sardonic wit as she recovers buried truths about science, prejudice, and politics, and marvels over all that the space program has achieved." Booklist

Review:

"Lord's jauntily feminist perspective...sets this effort apart from the Right Stuff pack....The text sometimes reads like a glib hybrid of science history and tabloid gossip....Lord's snappy prose and studied perspective save the project." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A powerful and moving look at coming-of-age during the Cold War....Lord's piercing observations strike a common chord as she examines how gender roles and stereotypes have evolved over the past thirty years." Laura Ruttig, Children's Literature

Synopsis:

Revisiting memories of her childhood and her mother's death, the author remembers her fascination with science and space exploration and how it became interwoven with the pain and loneliness caused by her father's immersion in his work at the Jet Propulsion Lab in the '60s.

Synopsis:

A daughter's journey to rediscover her father and understand the culture of space engineers

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father-an archetypal, remote, rocket engineer- disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the brilliant result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL- examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her acclaimed book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

Synopsis:

A daughter's journey to rediscover her father and understand the culture of space engineers

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father-an archetypal, remote, rocket engineer- disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the brilliant result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL- examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her acclaimed book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

M. G. Lord is an author and critic. Since 1995 she has been a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times Arts & Leisure section. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including ARTNews, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, and The New Yorker. Currently, she is completing a family memoir about aerospace culture during the Cold War, which will be published in 2004 by Walker & Company. She lives in Los Angeles.

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father—an archetypal, remote rocket engineer—disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL—examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

"Exploring America's collective memory of glory rides to the Moon and Mars, M.G. Lord chases the contrail of her absent father. This book blends its own rocket fuel—one part daughter's love to two parts popular culture—and the launch makes a gorgeous explosion."—Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter
 
"Astro Turf is . . . a captivating look at human foibles, family forgiveness, wins, and losses."—Booklist
 
"Cultural critic Lord's sharp turns from family affairs to JPL history result in wonderful discoveries for readers."—Publishers Weekly 

 

About the Author

M. G. Lord is an author and critic. Since 1995 she has been a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and the New York Times Arts & Leisure section. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including ARTNews, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802714275
Subtitle:
The Private Life of Rocket Science
Author:
Lord, M. G.
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Subject:
Aviation - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Aeronautics & Astronautics
Subject:
Astrophysics & Space Science
Subject:
Rocketry
Subject:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.) - History
Subject:
Aeronautics
Subject:
Astronautics
Subject:
General science
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
January 2005
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
41 BandW images
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.25 x 5.00 in

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » Space Exploration
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Astrophysics

Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science Used Hardcover
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$3.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802714275 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The success of the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission — and the fact that its dynamic director, Donna Shirley, was a woman — reminded many of how far both space exploration and NASA's male-dominated culture had come. Lord (Forever Barbie) ought to know. Her dad, a rocket scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California during the '60s, had a personality as distant as the stars, and his anachronistic views about women left Lord 'driven by terror' to flee to college. Upon her return to JPL 30 years later to learn what made engineers, and her dad, tick, Lord confirmed that he'd simply 'embraced the values of his profession: work over family, masculine over feminine, repression over emotion.' WWII and McCarthyism had helped create JPL's cowboy culture; for years, the few women who worked there were encouraged to compete for the title of Miss Guided Missile, a beauty and popularity contest. Homosexuals, meanwhile, were barred from employment, even while German engineers who'd committed Nazi war crimes were welcomed with open arms. It wasn't until Donna Shirley arrived in the 1970s that the center's top-down, male-oriented management approach gradually shifted to a 'partnership' model. This is an often fascinating work, and cultural critic Lord's sharp turns from family affairs to JPL history result in wonderful discoveries for readers. Agent, Eric Simonoff. (Jan.) Forecast: This quirky mix of women's history, family memoir and science could reach a wide audience, aided by a blurb from Dava Sobel." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Creative and discerning, Lord writes with both deep feeling and marvelously sardonic wit as she recovers buried truths about science, prejudice, and politics, and marvels over all that the space program has achieved."
"Review" by , "Lord's jauntily feminist perspective...sets this effort apart from the Right Stuff pack....The text sometimes reads like a glib hybrid of science history and tabloid gossip....Lord's snappy prose and studied perspective save the project."
"Review" by , "A powerful and moving look at coming-of-age during the Cold War....Lord's piercing observations strike a common chord as she examines how gender roles and stereotypes have evolved over the past thirty years."
"Synopsis" by , Revisiting memories of her childhood and her mother's death, the author remembers her fascination with science and space exploration and how it became interwoven with the pain and loneliness caused by her father's immersion in his work at the Jet Propulsion Lab in the '60s.
"Synopsis" by ,
A daughter's journey to rediscover her father and understand the culture of space engineers

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father-an archetypal, remote, rocket engineer- disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the brilliant result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL- examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her acclaimed book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

"Synopsis" by ,
A daughter's journey to rediscover her father and understand the culture of space engineers

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father-an archetypal, remote, rocket engineer- disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the brilliant result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL- examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her acclaimed book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

M. G. Lord is an author and critic. Since 1995 she has been a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and The New York Times Arts & Leisure section. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including ARTNews, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, and The New Yorker. Currently, she is completing a family memoir about aerospace culture during the Cold War, which will be published in 2004 by Walker & Company. She lives in Los Angeles.

During the late 1960s, while M. G. Lord was becoming a teenager in Southern California and her mother was dying of cancer, Lord's father—an archetypal, remote rocket engineer—disappeared into his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, building the space probes of the Mariner Mars 69 mission. Thirty years later, Lord found herself reporting on the JPL, triggering childhood memories and a desire to revisit her past as a way of understanding the ethos of rocket science. Astro Turf is the result of her journey of discovery.

Remembering her pain at her father's absence, yet intrigued by what he did, Lord captures him on the page as she recalls her own youthful, eccentric fascination with science and space exploration. Into her family's saga she weaves the story of the legendary JPL—examining the complexities of its cultural history, from its start in 1936 to the triumphant Mars landings in 2004. She illuminates its founder, Frank Malina, whose brilliance in rocketry was shadowed by a flirtation with communism, driving him from the country even as we welcomed Wernher von Braun and his Nazi colleagues. Lord's own love of science fiction becomes a lens through which she views a profound cultural shift in the male-dominated world of space. And in pursuing the cause of her father's absence she stumbles on a hidden guilt, understanding "the anguish his proud silence caused both him and me, and how rooted that silence was in the culture of engineering."

As in her book Forever Barbie, which demystified an icon of feminine culture, Lord brings her penetrating insight to bear on a bastion of American masculinity, opening our eyes in unexpected and memorable ways.

"Exploring America's collective memory of glory rides to the Moon and Mars, M.G. Lord chases the contrail of her absent father. This book blends its own rocket fuel—one part daughter's love to two parts popular culture—and the launch makes a gorgeous explosion."—Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter
 
"Astro Turf is . . . a captivating look at human foibles, family forgiveness, wins, and losses."—Booklist
 
"Cultural critic Lord's sharp turns from family affairs to JPL history result in wonderful discoveries for readers."—Publishers Weekly 

 

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