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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. "If Hidden Figures has you itching to learn more about the women who worked in the space program, pick up Nathalia Holt's lively, immensely readable history, Rise of the Rocket Girls." -- Entertainment Weekly
So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of Rise of the Rocket Girls tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Nathalia Holt’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of Rise of the Rocket Girls includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter overviews Profiles of the main characters Detailed timeline of key events Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt: When the Jet Propulsion Laboratory first began researching rocket science and the possibilities within space exploration in the middle of the twentieth century, they hired a hyper intelligent group of female mathematicians to work with their staff of engineers. In Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars, Nathalia Holt examines four decades of the JPL’s major accomplishments from interviews and research of these groundbreaking women who were recruited to be “human computers,” Including, from this team of unsung heroes, Barbara Paulson, Helen Ling, Sue Finley, and Sylvia Lundy. As the JPL’s projects evolved from developing missiles and satellites to executing moon landings and planetary exploration projects, the women’s roles grew too, becoming the team responsible for launching America into Space—and they did it all while balancing marriage and children, too. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
LIKE THE FEMALE SCIENTISTS PORTRAYED IN HIDDEN FIGURES, MARY SHERMAN MORGAN WAS ANOTHER UNSUNG HEROINE OF THE SPACE AGE—NOW HER STORY IS FINALLY TOLD. This is the extraordinary true story of America's first female rocket scientist. Told by her son, it describes Mary Sherman Morgan's crucial contribution to launching America's first satellite and the author's labyrinthine journey to uncover his mother's lost legacy--one buried deep under a lifetime of secrets political, technological, and personal. In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined. World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent US rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary. In the end, America succeeded in launching rockets into space, but only because of the joint efforts of the brilliant farm girl from North Dakota and the famous German scientist. While von Braun went on to become a high-profile figure in NASA's manned space flight, Mary Sherman Morgan and her contributions fell into obscurity--until now.
From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, "richly detailed" story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures). From Snow White to Moana, from Pinocchio to Frozen, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades. In The Queens of Animation, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells their dramatic stories for the first time, showing how these women infiltrated the boys' club of Disney's story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. As the influence of Walt Disney Studios grew -- and while battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace intimidation -- these women also fought to transform the way female characters are depicted to young audiences. With gripping storytelling, and based on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents, The Queens of Animation reveals the vital contributions these women made to Disney's Golden Age and their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen, Disney's first female-directed full-length feature film. A Best Book of 2019: Library Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Financial Times
The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" (New York Times) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" (Denver Post). Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.
The book Lady Astronauts, Lady Engineers, and Naked Ladies is a gender history of the American space community and by extension a social history of American society in the twentieth century during the Cold War. In order to expand and differentiate the prevalent postwar narrative about gender relations and cultural structures in the United States, the book analyzes several different groups of women interacting in different social spaces within the space community. It therewith grants insight into the several layers of female participation and agency in the community and the gender and race based obstacles and hurdles the female (prospective) astronauts, scientists, engineers, artists, administrators, writers, hostesses, secretaries, and wives were faced with at NASA and in the space industry. In each chapter a different social space within the space community is analyzed. The spaces where the women lived and worked are researched from a media, individual, and institutional angle, ultimately revealing the differing gender philosophies communicated in the public sphere and the space community workplaces by government and space community officials. While women were publicly encouraged to participate in the American space effort to beat the Soviet Union in the race to the moon, women had to deal with gender based barriers which were integral to the structures of the space community; just as they were an intrinsic component of all societal structures in the United States in the 1960s. The female space workers, who were often perceived as disrupters of the prevalent social order in the space community and discriminated by some of their male colleagues and bosses on a personal basis, still managed to assert themselves. They molded pockets of agency in the space community workspaces without the facilitation of regulations on the part of NASA that might have provided them with easier access or more agency. Thus, the space community, a place of technological innovation, was not necessarily also a place of social innovation, but a community with a government agency at its center that mainly mirrored the current (changing) social order, conventions, and policies in the 1960s as well as in the 1970s and 1980s. Nevertheless, the women presented in this book were instrumental in advancing and consolidating the social transformation that happened within the space community and the United States and therefore make intriguing subjects of research. Thus, this systematic analysis of the connection between gender, space, and the Cold War adds a new dimension to space history as well as expands the discourse in American history about gender relations and the opportunities of women in the twentieth century.
“Nathalia Holt presents a thorough account of the research that provides scientists with hope that a cure will one day be achievable... and her empathy shines through in her prose. This is as important a social history as it is a medical document.”—The Daily Beast Two patients—each known in medical history as the Berlin Patient—were cured of the HIV virus. The two patients’ disparate cures came twelve years apart, but Nathalia Holt, an award-winning scientist at the forefront of HIV research, connects the molecular dots of these cases for the first time. Scientists are known to maintain a professional distance from those they study, but sometimes scientists are not just investigators, they are caregivers, too. Cured illustrates that even in the era of high-tech and big pharma, the way doctors and patients communicate remains a critical ingredient in the advance of this science. Holt offers a kind of hope that the thirty-four million people currently infected with HIV need and a story of ingenuity, dedication, and humanity that will inspire the rest of us.
When Valentina Tereshkova blasted off aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963, she became the first woman to rocket into space. It would be 19 years before another woman got a chance—cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982—followed by American astronaut Sally Ride a year later. And by breaking the stratospheric ceiling, these women forged a path for many female astronauts, cosmonauts, and mission specialists to follow. In Women in Space, author Karen Bush Gibson profiles 23 pioneers, all of whom achieved greatness in orbit. Read about Eileen Collins, the first woman to command the Space Shuttle; Peggy Whitson, who has logged more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station; Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space; as well as astronauts from Japan, Canada, Italy, South Korea, France, and more. Learn, too, about the Mercury 13, American women selected by NASA in the late 1950s to train for spaceflight. Though they matched and sometimes surpassed their male counterparts in performance, they were ultimately denied the opportunity to head out to the launching pad. Their story, and the stories of pilots, physicists, and doctors who followed them, demonstrate the vital role women have played in the quest for scientific understanding. Karen Bush Gibson is the author of Women Aviators, Native American History for Kids, and three dozen other books for young readers. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.