Fiction General Wolfe, Tom The Right Stuff

ISBN 13: 9780099479376

The Right Stuff

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9780099479376: The Right Stuff

What is it, I wondered, that makes a man willing to sit on top of an enormous Roman Candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan, or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse? I decided on the simplest approach possible. I would ask a few of the astronauts and find out...

The men had it. Yeager. Conrad. Grissom. Glenn. Heroes. The first Americans in space - battling the Russians for control of the heavens, putting their lives on the line. The women had it. While Mr Wonderful was aloft, it tore your heart out that the Hero's Wife, down on the ground, had to perform with the whole world watching. The Right Stuff. It's the quality beyond bravery, beyond courage.

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Review:

Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979--the year the book appeared--Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. " The Right Stuff," he explains, "became a story of why men were willing--willing?--delighted!--to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero."

Wolfe's roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his "characters" as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot's wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne.

Wolfe traces Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Gus Grissom's embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn's apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative's epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America's manned space program. --Patrick O'Kelley

Review:

" The Right Stuff is Wolfe's best book" ( Sunday Times)

"It is Tom Wolfe at his very best...technically accurate, learned, cheeky, risky, touching, tough, compassionate, nostalgic, worshipful, jingoistic... The Right Stuff is superb" ( New York Times Book Review)

"An exhilarating flight into fear, love, beauty and fiery death... magnificent" ( People)

"Absolutely first class... Improbable as some of Tom's tales seem, I know he's telling it like it was" (Michael Collins, former astronaut)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is it, I wondered, that makes a man willing to sit on top of an enormous Roman Candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan, or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse? I decided on the simplest approach possible. I would ask a few of the astronauts and find out - The men had it. Yeager. Conrad. Grissom. Glenn. Heroes. The first Americans in space - battling the Russians for control of the heavens, putting their lives on the line. The women had it. While Mr Wonderful was aloft, it tore your heart out that the Hero s Wife, down on the ground, had to perform with the whole world watching. The Right Stuff . It s the quality beyond bravery, beyond courage. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780099479376

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is it, I wondered, that makes a man willing to sit on top of an enormous Roman Candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan, or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse? I decided on the simplest approach possible. I would ask a few of the astronauts and find out - The men had it. Yeager. Conrad. Grissom. Glenn. Heroes. The first Americans in space - battling the Russians for control of the heavens, putting their lives on the line. The women had it. While Mr Wonderful was aloft, it tore your heart out that the Hero s Wife, down on the ground, had to perform with the whole world watching. The Right Stuff . It s the quality beyond bravery, beyond courage. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780099479376

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. What is it, that makes a man willing to sit on top of an enormous Roman Candle and wait for someone to light the fuse? Ask a few of the astronauts and find out. They had it. The first Americans in space, battling the Russians for control of the heavens, putting their lives on the line. This book is about the quality beyond bravery, beyond courage. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBB; BGT; WNX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 28. Weight in Grams: 318. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099479376

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