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Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women…

av Margot Lee Shetterly

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,7351483,674 (3.92)220
Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens."--… (mer)
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    Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II av Liza Mundy (themulhern)
    themulhern: Similar stories about overlooked and discriminated against mathematicians and computers.
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» Se även 220 omnämnanden

engelska (148)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (149)
Visa 1-5 av 149 (nästa | visa alla)
This one almost ended up on the DNF list, but I slogged through it (it did make good "put me to sleep before bed" reading).
As another reviewer noted, the story of the female computers, especially the Black women, and their role in NACA/NASA is a story that needs to be known, but that does not mean THIS book is any good.
There are several problems with it.
1) The author is tackling too many topics at once. Is this a book about the space race? Is it about racial injustice? Is it about gender equality? Is it about life in the 1950s? Is it about three or four women who are excellent with numbers? Unfortunately Shetterly tries to make it about all of these things and the individual topics get lost as they all shout for attention and you don't know where to direct your attention.
2) Sentence structure. Excellent examples of over-writing. In an attempt to add visual and personal interest, too many dependent clauses find themselves embedded into compound-complex sentences containing flowery adjectives...(I tried to imitate her style writing that sentence, but I couldn't do it and didn't care to work harder) Once in a while such a sentence works. When most of the sentences are 3-4 lines long and the point gets lost in the details. It's hard to read that style of writing. Dickens can get away with it because of his wit and the time period in which he wrote. Few writers today can, and Shetterly definitely can't.
3)There so much data and history -- it's as though all of her research had to go into the book and she couldn't bear to cut out a single researched fact.
4) It's devoid of emotion. There are so many people mentioned in such an arm's length away style that there's no opportunity to connect with any of the characters. Bio facts are given, segregation facts are given, but no sense of how the people felt about their struggles. It's like watching story through binoculars, rather than a camera lens.
5) Too many "name drops" about figures that might be known to those well-versed in the history, but not outsiders like me. It made the characters disappear into the sea of names because I lost the ability to know which names I'd need to learn and which were one-off mentions. Maybe she included the names so she'd have a bigger index or get more hits in a keyword search?

I slogged through the book and picked up The Calculating Stars to read at the same time. WAY better and that sci-fi book helped me understand some of the key parts of Hidden Figures that got lost in the pile of information. Read The Calculating Stars instead. For this one, I hear the movie is actually pretty good. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Nonfiction - Partial Biography

Hidden Figures tells about Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden who worked in NASA as "calculators" during a time when not only African Americans were discriminated against, but also women. This made for some very challenging times at the workplace but they managed to push through the bias and racism to help man get to the moon and ensure the victory of WWII.

I thought that this was an incredible book about overcoming racisms, bias, and simply being a woman in a "man's workplace." I believe that this would be a great book to read with an upper level elementary class or even middle school students to help them understand the issues presented in the book.
  elizabethardacre | Nov 15, 2020 |
The first time I heard about this book was through Booktube from a couple of channels and thought it is an interesting book that you can learn a lot about the African-American history and the American history. The second time that I was introduced to the subject was through the movie that I watched and really enjoyed.
When I saw the book at the bookstore I had to buy it and read, because I wanted to read and find out what is the true story of those fantastic women who did a lot for the African-American people and women in a time that was impossible.
It is a book that you are taught a lot about the dark ages with segregations, but a small group of women could make a big difference in the space history of the United States. Please read these book it is very interesting, you can learn a lot about different kind of things through this book. The book and the movie have their differences, but both are very interesting and pass the message.
It is a book that made read more fiction & non-fiction books about the African-American history, human rights and even feminism. ( )
  AvigailRGRIL | Nov 6, 2020 |
This book follows the lives of three women- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. They were mathematicians who worked on computers in NASA during the 1930s-1960s and during the space race. While they were there, they were discriminated against because of their race and their gender. This would be a good book for children to read, so they can learn about the inequality that has taken place in the work place and learn some history about NASA as well. This would be an especially good book to read because the title is recognizable because of the movie adaption, and a teacher may even show their class the movie adaption after they have finished the book.
  briannawallace | Nov 4, 2020 |
Really good non-fiction audiobook about the women who served at Langley and NASA as human computers. I had learned a little bit about them from my visit to the Computer History Museum, but this provided much more depth, including the personal backgrounds and details of their lives. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Sep 21, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 149 (nästa | visa alla)
Ms. Shetterly happened upon the idea for the book six years ago, when she and her husband, Aran Shetterly, then living in Mexico, were visiting her parents here. The couple and Ms. Shetterly’s father were driving around in his minivan when he mentioned, very casually, that one of Ms. Shetterly’s former Sunday school teachers had worked as a mathematician at NASA, and that another woman she knew calculated rocket trajectories for famous astronauts.

Ms. Shetterly remembers her husband perking up and asking why he had never heard this tale before. “I knew women who worked at NASA as mathematicians and engineers,” Ms. Shetterly said, “but it took someone from the outside saying, ‘Wait a minute’ for me to see the story there.”
 

» Lägg till fler författare (1 möjlig)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Shetterly, Margot Leeprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Lyons, ElsieOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Miles, RobinBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
O'Meara, JoyFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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To my parents, Margaret G. Lee and Robert B. Lee III, and to all of the women at the NACA and NASA who offered their shoulders to stand on.
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"Mrs. Land worked as a computer out at Langley," my father said, taking a right turn out of the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Hampton, Virginia.
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The astronauts, by background and by nature, resisted the computers and their ghostly intellects. In a test flight, a pilot staked his reputation and his life on his ability to exercise total, direct, and constant control over the plane. A tiny error of judgment or a spec of delay in deciding on a course of action might mean the difference between safety and calamity. In a plane, at least, it was the pilot’s call; the “fly-by-wire” setup of the Mercury missions, here the craft and its controls were tethered via radio communications to the whirring electronic computers on the ground, pushed the hands-on astronauts out of their comfort zone. Every engineer and mathematician has a story of double-checking the machines’ data only to find errors. What if the computer lost power or seized up and stopped working during the flight? That too was something that happened often enough to give the entire team pause. The human computers crunching all of those numbers—now that the astronauts understood. The women mathematicians dominated there mechanical planes. The numbers went into the machines one at a time, came out one at a time, and were stored on a piece of paper for anyone to see. Most importantly, the figures flowed in and out of the mind of a real person, someone who could be reasoned with, questioned, challenged, looked in the eye if necessary. The process of arriving at a final result was tried and true, and completely transparent. Spaceship-flying computers might be the future, but it didn’t mean John Glenn had to trust them. He did, however, trust the brainy fellas who controlled the computers. And the brainy fellas who controlled the computers trusted their computer, Katherine Johnson. It was as simple as eighth-grade math: by the transitive property of equality, therefore John Glenn trusted Katherine Johnson. The message got through to John Mayer or Ted Skopinski, who relayed it to Al Hamer or Alton Mayo, who delivered it to the person it was intended for. Get the girl to check the numbers,” said the astronaut. If she says the numbers are good, he told them, I’m ready to go.
The results were what mattered, she told classrooms of students. Math was either right or wrong, and if you got it right, it didn’t matter what color you were.
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Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens."--

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