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

por Margot Lee Shetterly

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4,5131902,503 (3.92)255
Biography & Autobiography. History. African American Nonfiction. Nonfiction. HTML:

The #1 New York Times bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

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.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.

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  1. 20
    My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir por Katherine Johnson (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: My Remarkable Journey is Katherine Johnson's story in her own words while Hidden Figures tells the story from the perspective of several women including Katherine Johnson.
  2. 10
    Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II por Liza Mundy (themulhern)
    themulhern: Similar stories about overlooked and discriminated against mathematicians and computers.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 193 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Hidden Figures mainly tells the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson, African-American women who set the precedent for other black females to follow in the fields of mathematics and engineering at NASA. There are a couple of other women that the book touches on but not as in-depth as these three amazing women.

NASA, when these women started working there, was known as NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics). During WWII, NACA hired women as female computers who essentially did the work of mathematicians but were paid less.

I enjoyed how this book relayed the stories of each woman; however, I felt that it was a dry read overall. It is not like the movie although there are some aspects of the movie in the book. I liked the Epilogue at the end which discussed these women and their lives after they retired. ( )
  Cathie_Dyer | Feb 29, 2024 |
I love learning about women, and minority women especially, absolutely crushing it and just being invaluable in untold ways. These women are so impressive, not just for their race or gender but for the spectacular grasp on math that they had. They were brilliant clearly intimidating to their white male coworkers. I felt like their stories didn't have the teeth I expected, so it wasn't quite as gripping as I had hoped. Not that I want anyone to relive their racial trauma, but it was a surprisingly civil work environment for the time? I have to imagine they left a lot of the pain out of their stories to remain more palatable. ( )
  KallieGrace | Jan 3, 2024 |
So to be fair I bought this on audible when I had to use a credit quickly and given the "Hollywood" cover I assumed it was a narrative... oops! Once I got over the initial shock of it being very nonfiction research I did enjoy learning about these amazing women and all they accomplished in so many areas. Since I listened to the book keeping the stories straight as the author hopped around the different women was difficult. ( )
  hellokirsti | Jan 3, 2024 |
I should have loved this book. I wanted to love this book. It tells us of extraordinary women breaking boundaries of math, science, race, sexism, and culture through their brains and grit and determination and the brilliance to recognize an opportunity and drive the wedge of themselves into it and make a place for themselves and their children to follow. Unfortunately, the storytelling is so dry and the narrative so disconnected that I really struggled with it. Perhaps this would have been better in a bound version than audio, I don’t know. Nevertheless, I recommend making the effort. I’d never heard of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, or Christine Darden before, and that’s a damn shame. I’m glad I know their stories now.

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. Robin Miles provides an excellent performance.
( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
I sadly had not known the story of these four women before reading this. To be honest, I do not know much about my country’s history regarding monumental moments such as the space race. This biography helped me understand and made me want to learn more. The strength these four women had, as well as all the women in their various departments, to not only speak up and show their worth in a time where not only women but black women were seen as less, was inspiring. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning more about the internal workings that allowed us to not only launch into space but also land on the moon. Those beginning calculations helped shape and progress so much more in the world. ( )
  Vintage_B | Dec 28, 2023 |
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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.”
adicionada por rybie2 | editarThe New York Times, Cara Buckley (Sep 5, 2016)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (1 possível)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Shetterly, Margot Leeautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lyons, ElsieDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Miles, RobinNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
O'Meara, JoyDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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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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Biography & Autobiography. History. African American Nonfiction. Nonfiction. HTML:

The #1 New York Times bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

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.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.

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