Cover of the right stuff, the famous 1979 book by tom wolfe credit: macmillan tom wolfe, who wrote the right stuff and a number of other iconic books, died yesterday (may 14) in new york city at age 88.
Wolfe's most famous nonfiction works are the electric kool-aid acid test, a 1968 book that put readers on the bus with counterculture legend ken kesey and his band of merry pranksters, and 1979's the right stuff, which chronicled the early days of the united states' human-spaceflight program. The right stuff is superb” ―the new york times book review “one of the most romantic and thrilling books ever written about men who put themselves in peril” ―the boston globe “an exhilarating flight into fear, love, beauty, and fiery death magnificent” ―people “absolutely first class . Tom wolfe's the right stuff is a nonfiction book about the test pilots of the post-world war ii period and their role in the development of manned space flight in the united states the book is a.
It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that tom wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made the right stuff a classic. On the surface, 1979's the right stuff is about the first american astronauts, men hand-selected from a pool of military fighter jet pilots to race against the soviets and conquer the heavens names like chuck yeager, alan shepard, gus grissom, and john glenn will be immediately familiar to any spaceflight and aviation enthusiast.
As good as the right stuff is as a movie, the book is even better thomas wolfe's account of post war american test pilots and the first american astronauts is frank, amusing, moving and ultimately triumphant wolfe humanzies the cocky heroes that made america's space program successful. Tom wolfe, captured early astronaut ethos in 'the right stuff,' dies at 88 tom wolfe, author of the 1979 book the right stuff, seen in 1972 at kennedy space center in florida the apollo 17 saturn v rocket is visible on the launch pad behind him. Tom wolfe, writing in his classic book the right stuff about the mercury 7 astronauts, the first american men in space, gets directly to the heart of what made these men tick most of the mercury 7 astronauts were military test pilots, and being a military test pilot is about the hardest damned thing there is. The right stuff, tom wolfe’s account of america’s space program up to project mercury, evolved from his curiosity about the kind of person who was willing to sit on top of a thirty-six story.
Published in 1979, the right stuff won wolfe the national book award and was made into a movie nominated for eight oscars, winning four this year, the movie reaches its 35th anniversary next year is the book’s 40th. Wolfe does hammer gus in the book about what was known at the time wolfe wrote the right stuff however, all the research and reading that i have done, gus was probably the smartest engineer and best test pilot of the m-7 astronauts.
Tom wolfe began the right stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate american heroism nixon had left the white house in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of vietnam, and in 1979--the year the book appeared--americans were being held hostage by iranian militants.