Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Five out of five stars
I open this review by stating that I am a long-time math professor and reviewer of over 100 math books, so I have a natural affinity for books in the area. This also means that I have a great deal of experience and can quickly spot a dud.
It is a rare occasion when I read a review or a summary of a book and then absolutely have to read it. This is such a book, the summary describes very well the situation for African-American people in mathematics and science and how they faced discrimination, even by agencies and a nation that was in dire need of their talents. The book is clearly as much about the struggles of blacks for recognition and advancement as it is about their achievements.
The story of Kathleen Goble Johnson is particularly enlightening, astronaut John Glenn gave her the highest possible praise when he told the engineers, ““get the girl to check the numbers.” When his life was on the line as he was about to embark on the first orbital flight by an American, Glenn was not comfortable until Johnson confirmed that the numbers that were to get him safely back to Earth were correct.
This is the best Instaread summary that I have read so far.