Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times bestseller
A Los Angeles Times bestseller
An Amazon Best Book of 2016
An Entertainment Weekly "10 Books You Have to Read in April"
An Elle "8 Books by Women for Bill Gates to Read This Summer"
2016 Goodreads Choice Awards finalist
The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.
In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.
For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women — known as "human computers" — who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
"Wow! Talk about forgotten history!.... Those interested in space history will find much to enjoy here, but it is the stories of the women involved that commands attention.... Holt's stellar research is evident on every page. This is an excellent contribution to American history, valuable not only for what it reveals about the space program and gender equality but even more as great reading." Colleen Mondor,
Booklist (Starred Review)
"An intriguing account of the young, female 'human computers' who worked at Caltech's JPL. Be inspired by their work on America's first satellite and other groundbreaking projects, against the social backdrop of the Space Age, slowly changing gender norms, and the dawn of computers."
Elle, "5 Books That You Can Read With Your Mom"
By Estelle Tang
"A marvelous book.... When Neil Armstrong made his 'giant leap for mankind,' there was womankind in the control room."
By Maria Popova
"The women's stories are fun, intense, and endearing, and they give a new perspective on the rise of the space age."
"Illuminating...these women are vividly depicted at work, at play, in and out of love, raising children — and making history. What a team — and what a story!" Gene Seymour, USA Today (3.5 stars/4)
About the Author
Nathalia Holt is the author of Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV and a former Fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time. She lives in Boston.