Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been on a great kick of modern women ass-kickers lately, getting a great taste of pre-and-post WWII women who are and should be great role-models for everyone.
In this particular book, we've got the Space Race and the way meritocracy actually overcame racism in the early days when the USA found itself falling behind the USSR.
It wasn't easy by any shot, however, for USA had and still has a real nasty problem with sexism and racism. Only the dire need to get things done had pried open an opportunity in what would later be NASA and there WERE a lot of wonderful female and black mathematicians carrying a ton of the burden. This is their story, and it's a fantastic story.
They may never have gotten the real credit or the adulation they deserve, even with this book and VERY late praise, but I'm very pleased that they did get some. I remember seeing the movie a few years ago, too, and figured it would be right to finally read the book and I'm happy to have done so.
Am I still sore that so much crap still has to be shoveled when ALL such big, wonderful tasks ought to be a joint effort that actively supports each other? Yes. Am I sore that the pervasive racism just f**king sucks, making not only the victim's lives harder, but EVERYONE'S lives harder? Yes.
But I would be remiss if I didn't sound a horn about the death of the space agency itself, having been drained of its blood by the cold war and then left for dead by greedy politicians.
I guess there's a lot to mourn. There's too much to mourn.
But one thing we should not mourn is the fact that these women got to be a part of something great and they ought to be extremely proud. That is, DESPITE all the crap they had to go through... or that everyone has to go through.
As history goes, this books is very necessary. We need to learn. We need to be better. We can't just keep hurting ourselves.
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