Monday, May 15, 2017

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
368 pages

"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."  --book jacket

First off, the subject is fascinating.  These ladies were incredibly smart and strong.  They thoroughly enjoyed their work as mathematical computers, and were exceptionally competent.   If that wasn't enough, they were extraordinary at living and working in a segregated climate.  They seemed to know when to stand up for their rights and when to wait for an opportune moment.

In parts the book is interesting and engaging, but in other parts it reads like a research paper.  The author skips from person to person rather abruptly so at times it was hard to follow.  With so much chatter about the movie, it could be that my expectations were too high.  It is still a story worth telling and a book worth reading.  Now I'll check out the movie!

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