• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (September 6, 2016)
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.
About Margot Lee Shetterly
Margot Lee Shetterly grew up in Hampton, Virginia, where she knew many of the women in Hidden Figures. She is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and the recipient of a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for her research on women in computing. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Tuesday, September 6th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, September 7th: Doing Dewey
Thursday, September 8th: Tina Says…
Friday, September 9th: Sapphire Ng
Monday, September 12th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Tuesday, September 13th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, September 14th: Back Porchervations
Thursday, September 15th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, September 16th: Reading Reality
Monday, September 19th: 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, September 20th: In the Garden of Eva
Thursday, September 22nd: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, September 26th: Man of La Book
Tuesday, September 27th: Gspotsylvania: Ramblings from a Reading Writer Who Rescues Birds and Beasts
Wednesday, September 28th: Staircase Wit
Friday, September 30th: Cold Read