- Series: Gender Relations in the American Experience
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Revised ed. edition (October 26, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801883946
- ISBN-13: 978-0801883941
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America's First Women in Space Program (Gender Relations in the American Experience) Revised ed. Edition
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"What this book does better than its competitors is to uncover and present the political story that killed the space program for women in this country."(Choice)
"Weitekamp's clear prose, engaging style of storytelling, and rich analysis make this not only an important book but a lively and enjoyable read."(Sarah Eppler Janda H-Minerva, H-Net Reviews)
"The best, most balanced treatment available about the thirteen Fellow Lady Astronaut Trainees."(Amy E. Foster History: Reviews of New Books)
"The most carefully researched and analyzed account of this important chapter in the history of the U.S. space program... Highly recommended."(Deborah G. Douglas Journal of American History)
"A solidly researched, fact-driven account... Weitekamp is the rare historian who sees the big picture as well as the fine detail."(Eve Lichtgarn AssociatedContent.com)
"Weitekamp gives us a well-researched... study of this pre-feminist movement attempt to put women into outer space."(Robert D. Dean American Historical Review)
"This book sets a high standard for future studies of space policy and gender in politics, and includes an outstanding essay on sources that will be of great assistance to students of women's and space history."(Elizabeth Lutes Hillman Journal of Military History)
"Presents a well documented, skillfully crafted perspective on the stifling political, social, and cultural milieu in which thirteen aspiring female astronauts found themselves during the late 1950s and early 1960s."(Rick W. Sturdevant Space Times)
"Weitekamp's vivid writing brings to life the texture of American life in what she calls the 'prefeminist' era."(Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles Historian)
"A solidly researched, fact-driven account of the brief flameout known as Women in Space program."(Westside Chronicle)
"This book offers a fascinating read for anyone interested in the early history of the American space program, as well as those non-spacers interested in women's studies."(Satellite Evolution Group)
"Weitekamp has done a terrific job of capturing a fascinating story."(Joseph Romito Air Power History)
From the Back Cover
Margaret Weitekamp traces the rise and fall of the Lovelace Woman in Space program within the context of the cold war and the thriving women's aviation culture of the 1950s, showing how the Lovelace trainees challenged prevailing attitudes about women's roles and capabilities. In examining the experiences of the would-be Lady Astronauts, this study documents the achievements and frustrated hopes of a remarkable group of women.
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Top customer reviews
During the 1950's, there was massive resistance in U.S. government circles against any kind of a space program. There were, however, visionaries such as William Randolph "Randy" Lovelace II who promoted the benefits of a strong space program. It was not until after both the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik in 1957 coupled with the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 that a strong American space program came into existence.
Since the Kennedy Administration refused to countenance the idea of a women in space program, it was up to the likes of Lovelace & famed aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran to start a private program towards that goal. Another prominent woman in the U.S. aviation industry to support Lovelace's program was Jerrie Cobb who had passed all of the tests that had been administered to the NASA astronauts, but who had been passed over simply because she was a woman.
In the end, Lovelace's program came to naught due to a lack of funding, but the memory of it lives on in this splendid work.
Nevertheless, I would still recommend this book as a very interesting read into a fascinating time in American history, and congratulate the author on her great research.
Weitekamp's writing is precise and well-documented, with all the attention to sources and structure that academics need to be kept happy. Her focus is on gender (as befits the subject), but her work gradually yields a subtle examination of the perspectives, motives and positions of the women who confront its cultural manifestations. Like all good history, this reads like a movie waiting to happen. Jackie Cochran is the most intriguing character of the lot, with her political savvy and daredevil streak taking her from setting records on the tarmac to meetings in the Oval Office. Jerrie Cobb, the more public face of the original group of women at the climax of these events, suffered from a political naivety, but came to see the structural impediments to women perhaps more clearly than anyone. Easily the best piece of social and cultural history I've read this year.