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

Paperback | December 6, 2016

byMargot Lee Shetterly

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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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From the Publisher

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 walke...

From the Jacket

Now a Major Motion Picture from Twentieth Century Fox.The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human ...

Margot Lee Shetterly was born in Hampton, Virginia in 1969. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce. After college she worked in investment banking for several years. Her other career moves have included working in the media industry for the website Volume .com, publishing an English language magaz...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:December 6, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062363603

ISBN - 13:9780062363602

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

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic You learn something new everyday and what these women did is amazing. Shame they weren't as well known to most people.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Important story #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring Great read, a bit slow at times but so great
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great I think the story is incredibly inspiring and important, however, I found it hard to get into this book. There is almost too much detail. Still definitely worth a read, especially before watching the movie!
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing An amazing story of these African American women and their contribution to the American space program. This was such an uplifting and inspirational story.
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful This book was a beautiful and uplifting read. I definitely recommend it!
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Very inspiring. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hidden Figures Thank you to Margot Lee Shetterly for revealing the incredible story of these African American women - their amazing intelligence, contributions, and achievements- all accomplished despite the state of the world of their time. Finally recognition and credit where it is due!
Date published: 2016-12-13

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Editorial Reviews

“Meticulous… the depth and detail that are the book’s strength make it an effective, fact-based rudder with which would-be scientists and their allies can stabilize their flights of fancy. This hardworking, earnest book is the perfect foil for the glamour still to come.”