Nakul's Reviews > The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
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it was amazing
bookshelves: biographies, favorites, life-itself, science, space

Quite possibly one of the best books I read in 2018, after Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. Reading the Right Stuff was a thrilling ride from start to finish.

The book begins with a dive into the life of test pilots, those glorious men who have reached the pinnacle of manliness. It is an exploration into their psyche, their belief systems, and in 'the right stuff' - that mythical element inside every test pilot that propels them to fly faster and higher than every man before them. The book then slowly turns towards the heart of the matter - the Space Race, the Man in Space Soonest mission. It is a first hand look into the formation of NASA, the selection of the pilots, the shortlisting of the first glorious 'Astronauts', and the establishment of the Mercury Program. We look at the first thrilling ride of Alan Shepard into space, Grissom's bumpy second ride, and John Glenn's magnificent orbit of the Earth. The descriptions are enthralling, and the stories keep you on the edge of your seat. Wolfe seems to have a first hand account into the lives of the Mercury Seven, and how their wives and their lives, how they lived, how they felt about each other and the program, and everything in between.

The Right Stuff is a documentation of the historic efforts of the United States to put a man in space. There is a lazer like focus on the astronauts and nothing else. It will serve as a great primer for someone interested in space. But it also serves as a great look into human will, purpose and what it takes to have 'the right stuff'.

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Reading Progress

May 5, 2018 – Shelved
May 5, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
June 9, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: biographies
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: life-itself
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: science
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: space

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