Book Review: The Right Stuff

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Do I have the right stuff? Boy, I hope so. I don’t want to be on the short end of this stick. If you have never heard of this book, or it’s author, Tom Wolfe, go pick up this book now.

Sure, it is a history novel, but it reads like a movie. It is almost like you are with Al Shepard as he sits and waits to be launched up into the sky … hoping that the world’s knowledge of physics is more than 99.9% correct.

Apollo 11I found myself dreaming of being an astronaut; I once wanted to be one! In, The Right Stuff, I was taken back to a time I didn’t live or experience and it felt like I was there. It’s a sad statement, but I didn’t realize that John Glenn was not actually the first American in space. I will never make that mistake again.

Nor did I realize how the NASA program came to be, or how dangerous flight was during this time period.

The most unique thing for me to read and experience through the words of Wolfe would undoubtedly be how the minds of the Air Force pilots work. It was always about pushing the envelope of flight to see if they had the “right stuff.” They would drink a lot to see how much they could take in and how good they could function the next day. They would race on the beach. It was all about having and not losing the right stuff.

History is always fun to read about. Why? Because we can all learn, and remember the trials before that allow us to look up at the moon and say, “One small step…”



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