Friday, April 18, 2008

Rocket Boys related reading...The Mercury 13

One of the pleasures in putting together a recommended reading list, is finding a book that makes you go "I didn't know that!", well this year, in support of Rocket Boys, and the book list Space Exploration (the men, the women and more) yielded such a book that qualifies in The Mercury 13 : The untold story of 13 American women and the dream of space flight.

Martha Ackmann's book covers the story of 13 women pilots who went through much of the same basic training that the original male astronauts underwent. Overcoming bias and lacking flying opportunities due to their gender, the Mercury 13 while proving their mettle, never were allowed a chance to continue on and become astronauts. This is a highly readable, interesting look at the beginnings of our space program and an unflattering reminder that gender bias was a much larger factor in everyday life not so long ago. Brisk, brief and compellingly written, The Mercury 13, sheds enlightenment on an aspect of our history that should be remembered and also serves as a reminder that a wonderful book on history can be readable, informative and not break your coffee table!

Everyone has heard of the Mercury 7, now is the time to read and learn about the Mercury 13, trust me, these ladies too had "The Right Stuff"!

No comments: