Paperback / softback
October 26, 2005
9780801883941
English
256
10
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.54 Inches (US)
.75 Pounds (US)
$29.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Right Stuff, Wrong Sex

America's First Women in Space Program

On June 17, 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Curiously, unlike every previous milestone in the "space race," this event did not spur NASA to catch up by flying an American woman. Though there were suitable candidates-two years earlier, thirteen female pilots recruited by the private Woman in Space program had passed a strenuous physical exam and were ready for another stage of astronaut testing-American women would not escape earth's gravity for another twenty years.

In Right Stuff, Wrong Sex, Margaret Weitekamp shows how the Woman in Space program—conceived by Dr. William Randolph Lovelace and funded by world-famous pilot and businesswoman Jacqueline Cochran—challenged prevailing attitudes about women's roles and capabilities. In examining the experiences of the Fellow Lady Astronaut Trainees (as the candidates called themselves), this book documents the achievements and frustrated hopes of a remarkable group of women whose desire to serve their country fell victim to hostility toward such aspirations. Drawing from archival research and interviews with participants, Weitekamp traces the rise and fall of the Woman in Space program within the context of the cold war and the thriving women's aviation culture of the 1950s. Weitekamp's study sheds light on a little-known but compelling chapter in the history of the U.S. space program and the rise of the women's movement in America.

About the Author

Margaret A. Weitekamp is curator in the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

Reviews

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
Johns Hopkins University Press
Gender Relations in the American Experience
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9780801883941 : right-stuff-wrong-sex-weitekamp
Paperback / softback
256 Pages
$29.00 USD

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