Name: Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared To Dream
Author(s): Tanya Lee Stone
What It’s About: This book tells the true story of 13 women who shared the dream of becoming astronauts in a time of prejudice, where women were considered basically treated as accessories to the home. And they almost made it. They took the tests, they proved their worth, and got shot down by a bunch of politicians. But not without a fight. This is the story of 13 women who paved the way for others like Sally Ride and Eileen Collins by questioning the “social order” that was widely accepted as the way of life. The “Mercury 13.” The almost astronauts.
My Review: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Okay, I’m goofy. But this is a really great book. It has great writing, lots of pictures, an interesting story, and intriguing information. Books like this make me disgusted at how we used to treat some people. The fact that people used to think that women only exist to play housekeeper is enraging. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I’m glad I wasn’t alive back then. I would recommend this to anybody who has the slightest bit of interest in history.
Re-Readability: Very High. Go read this book now.
“Some of the woman were criticized for taking on “unnatural” roles. Doubters questioned their devotion to their children and husbands. Jane Hart’s husband, a U.S. senator, received bags of mail from constituents who thought it disgraceful that his wife was flying all over creation and told him he should exercise more control over her.”
“Editorial cartoons poked fun. Reporters included her physical measurements alongside her test results. Or they dropped the test results completely, asking her what kind of meals she liked to cook and marveling at how slim, blond, and dimpled a pilot could be. “[That] has nothing to do with flying. I never read about men pilots who had their measurements listed in stories about them,” Cobb later said.”
“Back in New York, where Jerrie Cobb was staying, it was the middle of the night. Her phone started ringing. Her parents’ phone started ringing. Her friends’ and colleagues’ phones started ringing. And they didn’t stop. The world wanted to know who this woman was.”