Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars

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"If Hidden Figures has you itching to learn more about the women who worked in the space program, pick up Nathalia Holt's lively, immensely readable history, Rise of the Rocket Girls." --Entertainment Weekly

The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.

In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.

For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
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About the author

Nathalia Holt is the author of Cured: The People Who Defeated HIV and a former Fellow at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time. She lives in Boston.
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Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Apr 5, 2016
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780316338912
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Science & Technology
Biography & Autobiography / Women
History / Military / Aviation
History / Social History
History / United States / 21st Century
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This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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* NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION * BEST BOOKS OF 2016 SELECTION BY THE BOSTON GLOBE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * NPR * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY *

The New York Times bestselling investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women is “an informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just the single ladies—who want to gain a greater understanding of this pivotal moment in the history of the United States” (The New York Times Book Review).

In 2009, award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent; and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890–1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven.

But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one. And historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more. Today, only twenty percent of Americans are married by age twenty-nine, compared to nearly sixty percent in 1960.

“An informative and thought-provoking book for anyone—not just single ladies” (The New York Times Book Review), All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the unmarried American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, “we’re better off reading Rebecca Traister on women, politics, and America than pretty much anyone else” (The Boston Globe).
The #1 New York Times bestseller

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

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.

 

This memoir of a veteran NASA flight director tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which Kranz was flight director.

Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America’s manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA’s Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director’s role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to land a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s.

Kranz recounts these thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers’ only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success.

A fascinating firsthand account by a veteran mission controller of one of America’s greatest achievements, Failure is Not an Option reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.

In her new preface, Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.

Why is America living in an age of profound and widening economic inequality? Why have even modest attempts to address climate change been defeated again and again? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? In a riveting and indelible feat of reporting, Jane Mayer illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats—headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys—who have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Mayer traces a byzantine trail of billions of dollars spent by the network, revealing a staggering conglomeration of think tanks, academic institutions, media groups, courthouses, and government allies that have fallen under their sphere of influence. Drawing from hundreds of exclusive interviews, as well as extensive scrutiny of public records, private papers, and court proceedings, Mayer provides vivid portraits of the secretive figures behind the new American oligarchy and a searing look at the carefully concealed agendas steering the nation. Dark Money is an essential book for anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize Finalist
PEN/Jean Stein Book Award Finalist
Shortlisted for the Lukas Prize
◆全國最受歡迎科普網站泛科學 Pansci.tw &公益知識網站 NPOst.tw 公益交流站聯合推薦

◆諾貝爾生醫獎得主╱反轉錄?發現者巴爾提摩(David Baltimore)鄭重推薦

◆資深戲劇家汪其楣╱疾病管制署首席防疫醫師羅一鈞專文推薦

◆Amazon讀者五顆星好評


兩位柏林病患治癒愛滋病的特殊經歷,

成為愛滋醫療史上兩大轉捩點,更使醫療發展走入全新階段。


昔日令人聞風喪膽的愛滋病,今日已轉變成可控制的慢性病,是什麼讓愛滋醫療大躍進?愛滋醫療又如何影響整個醫療發展的方向與未來?


從一九八一年首位愛滋病例確診以來,病患的身分與疾病的傳染途徑,使愛滋病背負了重重汙名,也使得藥物研究與醫療發展受到諸多限制。愛滋病毒變化多端,幾乎找不到治癒的方法,因此得病就等同於宣判死刑。


三十多年來,研究人員努力不懈,終使愛滋醫療不斷進步。其中,有兩個被稱為柏林病患的特殊案例,更大大推進了愛滋醫療的研究進展。第一位柏林病患當時接受了早期治療與實驗性癌症藥物,而第二位柏林病患則為了治療白血病,接受了幹細胞移植。這兩位病患在接受治療後意外治癒了愛滋病,成為了所有愛滋相關研究人員關注的案例。


身為HIV研究人員的霍特,曾在實驗過程中差點感染HIV,在經歷可能染病的恐懼與吃藥的折磨後,決心將愛滋醫療發展的來龍去脈公諸於世。她親自探訪兩位柏林病患及他們的醫師,將他們的故事記錄下來,並在書中呈現愛滋病患所遭受的心理生理雙重折磨、眾多專家奮力找出有效療法的重重戰鬥、醫療產業的限制與政治角力、HIV的致病機制,以及台灣愛滋病學專家何大一在一九九五年研發雞尾酒療法的奮鬥過程等。


霍特柔軟的筆觸與豐沛的情感,使書中充滿讓人動容的抗病經歷及研究過程,讓愛滋科學不再冰冷。在大眾依然恐懼愛滋病、病患人數節節上升的此刻,正是打開本書、認識這段醫療發展史的最佳時機。


醫學名詞審訂

◎羅一鈞(疾病管制署首席防疫醫師)


【專文推薦】

◎汪其楣(資深戲劇家╱《青春悲懷》作者)

◎羅一鈞(疾病管制署首席防疫醫師)


【名家推薦】

◎巴爾提摩(反轉錄?發現者、諾貝爾生醫獎得主)

◎何飛鵬(台灣關愛基金會顧問)

◎杜思誠(台灣同志諮詢熱線政策推廣主任)

◎林宜慧(愛滋感染者權益促進會祕書長)

◎林郁修(台灣關愛基金會執行長)

◎林錫勳(台灣愛滋病學會理事長)

◎施伯南(台灣紅絲帶基金會董事長)

◎徐森杰(台灣露德協會祕書長)

◎楊婕妤(台灣關愛之家協會創辦人)

◎鄭智偉(台灣同志諮詢熱線協會社工主任)


「偶然因緣下,台灣關愛之家的創辦人與董事們與我分享了愛滋病患的照護與相處,在實際前往關愛之家參訪後,更是了解了愛滋感染者的照護是如何缺乏,與所承受的不平等對待。《戰勝愛滋》書中,作者從醫學角度詳述與愛滋病毒的對決,在長久不懈的努力下,愛滋現今已變成可控制的慢性病;同時透過病患的抗病過程,描繪出其處境的艱難,心理生理所遭受的雙重折磨。

讓我們打開本書,認識愛滋,了解愛滋,摘下畏懼與有色的眼鏡,學習接受並開始關懷這群應被好好照護,卻被我們忽略漠視的同胞們。」

——何飛鵬(台灣關愛基金會顧問)


「我覺得此書既是一本愛滋的科普書,更是一本精彩的故事書。作者一方面用淺白的方式,向讀者介紹從一九八○年代至今累積的各種愛滋科學知識及醫療發展,另一方面也透過許多訪談與生命故事,呈現這些知識及藥物產出過程的複雜政治性。作者娓娓道出一個又一個歷史背後的故事,讓我們看到醫院、藥廠、研究者、政府、民間團體以及感染者等角色,在這過程中如何角力及互相影響。這裡面不只是疾病知識,還有人的感受,是一本有血有淚有溫度的科普書。」

——杜思誠(台灣同志諮詢熱線政策推廣主任)


「古往今來,人類對醫藥的渴望,大抵不出『藥到病除』;不能藥到病除者,若非不治之症,則屬沉痾痼疾,傷身但不致命。近代科研創造出例外,疾病的社會意義與病人的生命價值,乃至因果之間的人類社會行為,因此得到解構重塑與再詮釋的機會;癌症如是,愛滋亦如是。

科研不易,一點一滴都是智慧結晶,『共存』成為新課題。生命不再有立即的危險,但處於其中的人們,依然渴望病除;社會環境愈惡劣,渴望愈強烈,這個年代的台灣即是。一日,科研成功,問題是否真的被解決。我想,端視『問題』界定,而《戰勝愛滋》一書,提供最豐富真實的思辨素材。」

——林宜慧(愛滋感染者權益促進會祕書長)


「這幾年接觸台灣及中國河南的愛滋感染者時,我最常被問到『還要等多久才能等到攻克愛滋病毒的藥物或治療方式出現』?我總是帶著樂觀、鼓勵且肯定口氣回答:『現在最重要的是積極接受治療,按時回診,按時服藥。只有把自己的身體養好了,才有辦法迎接攻克愛滋的到來。』愛滋研究三十多年,柏林病患成功治癒的案例對愛滋病患來說已顯露曙光。愛滋醫療研究進展實際上也比其他疾病快速,使得愛滋病患配合三合一藥物治療下,逐步被歸納為可以控制的慢性疾病。然一般社會大眾對於愛滋仍心存歧視與恐懼,我們也一直呼籲,我們所對抗的是『疾病』本身,而不是『人』,改變這樣的觀念的確還需要很多人共同努力。

『戰勝愛滋』是每一位愛滋感染者的共同願望,在這個過程中,醫療團隊永不放棄的努力著。透過《戰勝愛滋》這本科普級專書,讓大家更了解愛滋治療研究的脈絡。真心希望因為更了解疾病之後,『愛滋』不再令人恐慌,而是每一個人都可以坦然面對的慢性病。」

——林郁修(財團法人台灣關愛基金會執行長)


「二○一三年十一月三日,我在舊金山參加一個『邁向治癒愛滋』的國際學術會議,場外天寒地凍,場內熱血沸騰,『柏林病患』提摩西.雷.布朗正在演說他的心路歷程。他是全世界第一位愛滋病毒感染者經由骨髓移植而痊癒的個案。長久以來愛滋病是世紀的黑死病,更飽受各種汙名化。雖然已經有可控制的所謂雞尾酒療法,但是離痊癒仍遙不可及。柏林病患的故事替感染者帶來一線希望,彷彿在漫漫長夜中露出了一絲曙光,也在科學上證實戰勝愛滋是可能的。難得的是布朗歷經感染者的辛苦經歷,雖然已經痊癒,但仍以過來人的身分致力於愛滋病研究及去汙名化的各種努力,更希望以自身的經驗鼓勵感染者勇敢地與愛滋病奮鬥。《戰勝愛滋》一書讓我想起寒冬裡他溫煦的微笑,相信可以給世人帶來莫大的鼓舞,見證改變醫學歷史的一頁。」

——林錫勳(台灣愛滋病學會理事長)


「回顧過去,愛滋病現在早已被視為是一種可控制的慢性傳染病,然不可諱言,醫界仍汲汲地找尋可以根治它的藥物或方法,而目前也仍無有效的疫苗可供預防。但相較於市場上已有數十幾種抗反轉錄病毒藥物的今日,人們很容易忘記,二十五年前愛滋病患並沒有真正的治療方案,且大多數患者皆不久於人世。透過醫界、藥界、研究人員、藥物監管和開發部門等的共同努力,尤其是促進治療的愛滋活動家、以及關心愛滋議題的民間團體的倡議,目前對抗反轉錄病毒的利器藥物,某種程度上就是這些積極份子努力的明證。本書透過一位曾遭遇可能感染風險的HIV研究人員觀點,詳細的闡述人類社群對抗愛滋的歷程,對於希望了解整體愛滋防治概念的同好們,不失為良好的參考書籍,亦是見證HIV此一病毒、病症、治療、研究、醫療體系與產業、政策與政治、病人處境……等整體醫療發展史,隨時間演變轉折進步之最佳捷徑。」

——施伯南(財團法人台灣紅絲帶基金會董事長)


「《戰勝愛滋》帶領讀者走入人類對抗愛滋病毒的歷史,作者將艱澀的醫學知識以深入淺出的方式呈現,同時也見證了許多前輩為了摯愛致力投身尋找解方。在愛滋生態裡,本書勾勒出醫療科學、社會文化、人文關懷、維權倡議、政治經濟等多元樣貌,透過幾位重量級人物在不同時空背景的交織下,彷彿邀讀者一起看見愛滋治癒的曙光就在不遠處。」

——徐森杰(社團法人台灣露德協會祕書長)


「愛滋,讓我們看見痛苦的絕望,但也展現了人性的求生意志與奮鬥精神。《戰勝愛滋》透過兩名柏林病患,融合了相關的醫療科學與生命故事,可敬的友情與愛情處處可見。在全球愛滋疫情尚未被克服之前,願此書帶給世人知識與勇氣,攜手共同戰勝愛滋的歧視與恐懼。」

——楊婕妤(台灣關愛之家協會創辦人)


「在愛滋病的歷史上,從來不是健康與死亡這二個選項,它帶給人類社會對於汙名、壓迫的反思,也讓我們看到團結、醫療、人權與愛的重要。但在台灣,政府依然用懲戒感染者的法令、恐嚇式的愛滋教育、抽遍男同志血的公衛政策來進行愛滋防治。現今,我們對於愛滋病的認識已知它非致命的絕症,但在人權與平等對待上,台灣還有好一段路要走。」

——鄭智偉(台灣同志諮詢熱線協會社工主任)


「在醫學界的眾人絕望地掙扎著去控制HIV爆發的縝密故事中,作者提醒我們最棒的醫學故事就是人們的第一手故事:他們的決定,他們的勇氣,與他們的能力。在最好的狀況下,這番歷史的重述,可說是保護了我們全部的人。」

——黛博拉.布魯姆(《落毒事件簿》作者)


「這是在醫療科學中最難以置信的故事之一:治癒愛滋。」

——《國家地理雜誌》


「這本書可得知愛滋病令人驚異的細節,並從而分享作者帶來的希望。」

——《紐約時報》書評


「作者呈現一連串的研究報告,指出這些研究如何讓科學家抱著一個疾病終將可被治癒的希望,而她投注的情感流竄在她的行文間。這在社會史與醫學紀錄上同等重要。」

——The Daily Beast評論網


「在這本平易近人且充滿驚喜的著作中,霍特這位由麻省理工學院與哈佛訓練出來的科學家,領著我們觀看在治療這曾是絕症的過程中出現的重大突破。」

——《出版者周刊》


「這本令人驚豔的書,講的是醫療科學在一連串反常的勝利中如何步步靠近第一隻愛滋疫苗。同時也是一本精密的回顧,揉合了當代醫學精進醫療策略的資訊。」

——科克斯書評


出版社 貓頭鷹(城邦)

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