Hidden Figures

  • by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Narrated by Robin Miles
  • 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of AudioFile Magazine's Best Audiobooks of 2016.
Soon to be a major motion picture.
Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these 'colored computers' used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, 'Hidden Figures' interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

How did I not know about these women?

This book details the struggles and determination of a group of black women to be recognised for their worth. Brilliant mathematicians, they were housed in their own department and endured humiliating segregation socially despite working alongside white male colleagues.

What's really interesting about this book is that it examines the impact of the women becoming successful- good and bad.

The narrative is provided warmly but the underlying steel of the book shines through the narration and it beautifully brings the story to life.
Highly recommended
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- Steph Adams

So much more than the film

I'm so glad that I watched the film first, otherwise it would have been a total disappointment. The book is extensive, and the story of the film seems quite different to the truth. The bare bones are the same: a trio of remarkable women broke boundaries in both gender and race to be part of one of the most historic events in US and even world history - the space race.

Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths by hand that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Forget Silicon Valley's misogynistic climate - women were the original engineers and mathematicians.

The book is awash with interesting stories of extraordinary people working in a time of segregation and all pervasive racism. It has multiple layers that delve into each character, and gives a comprehensive context into these women's lives. It basically fills in the gaps of the film, but also changes the timeline considerably as Katherine Johnson was much younger than her colleague Dorothy Vaughan. Nevertheles, an extraordinary read and a great tribute to these invisible women.
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- Suswati

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2016
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited