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The Right Stuff (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. März 2008

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  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Picador; Auflage: Reprint (4. März 2008)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0312427565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427566
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,2 x 2,5 x 21,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (38 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 66.387 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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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. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. "The Right Stuff," he explains, "became a story of why men were willing--willing?--delighted!--to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero."

Wolfe's roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his "characters" as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot's wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne.

Wolfe traces Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Gus Grissom's embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn's apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative's epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America's manned space program. --Patrick O'Kelley -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Technically accurate, learned, cheeky, risky, touching, tough, compassionate, nostalgic, worshipful, jingoistic . . . 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 . . . Improbable as some of Wolfe's tales seem, I know he's telling it like it was. (The Washington Post Book World)

Crammed with inside poop and racy incident . . . fast cars, booze, astro groupies, the envies and injuries of the military caste system . . . Wolfe lays it all out in brilliantly staged Op Lit scenes. (Time)

Splendid . . . It shows our propensity to manufacture heroes, and, just as quickly, to forget them; it shows how a scientific program was exploited for political advantage; it provides a revealing character study of seven exceptional Americans. (The Saturday Review)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von express am 4. April 2013
Format: Taschenbuch
The test pilots and astronauts might seem an odd choice of subject for Tom Wolfe. Up to this point, much of his work had been about pose - the bohemian pose (The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, 1965), the radical pose (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, 1968), and boy he was good, very good at it. In The Right Stuff, he wrote about the real thing, the original seven astronauts of America's first manned space program and the qualities he genuinely admired in men like General Chuck Yeager who blasted five Germans out of the sky in one single day and by the time he was twenty-two, he had thirteen kills. Just after the war he became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. After breaking the so called sound barrier, Yeager was the ace of aces, well known in his circle in a kind of abstract way, but it was Tom Wolfe who made him a pop icon with this book. With his unparalleled flying record, laconic bravado and independent streak, Yeager struck Wolfe as the natural hero of his book. Based on a series of articles written for Rolling Stone magazine in 1973, The Right Stuff became an immediate bestseller when it was published in 1979.

The Right Stuff is the story of the astronauts of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, probably the most genuinely admired group of Americans during the 1960s. Wolfe follows a group of test pilots and their wives through their training and first assignments in the mid 1950s. Many of the early fighter jet pilots were killed in flying accidents, but this fraternity in general is clearly different from other men of their generation. The competition to excel as fliers has given them a different view of danger and success: being on top of the profession is more important than any consideration of risk.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 22. Juni 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
After reading this book I found that I had learned what I wanted to learn: about the history and sociology of the early US manned space program. I am not a fan of Wolfe's off-hand, gee-whiz, overbearing style. However, I must admit that this style was very effectively applied in this work. I checked up on some facts with more pure historical sources, and found that Wolfe's presentation was accurate--though of course I checked only a tiny percentage of what's in the book. Many of the tales seem to me to be apocryphal or just historical fiction. But overall the book succeeds in putting the Mercury program in the context of the times (policically and sociologically) and rest of the test flight program. As such it is quite an achievement.
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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von B am 23. Januar 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In the early '80s, I was to graduate from school and got interested in flying for the US Navy. My mother sent a copy of T. Wolfe's book hoping to sway my dangerous intent and take a 'real' job. WRONG. About 9 months later I was soloing over Corpus Christi Bay and on my way to flying Navy jets.
Wolfe has written an epic that spans from the early days of flight test through the beginning of the US manned space program. It will increase the heart rate of aviators, aviation buffs and armchair pilots/astornauts. I highly recommend that anyone remotely interested in aviation/space read this book. While it may not be accurate to the smallest detail, the overall scope and feel for a era gone by can never be or has ever been captured in the history books.
Regarding Gus Grissom, new facts are coming to light that will clear his reputation. 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 . He had a reputation of being a real nuts and bolts engineer and a hard nose pilot. He could handle any situation while flying experitmental aircraft or on the ground discussing craft/engine design with NASA's engineers. If any one has ever seen the old NASA films of the Apollo program, when Gus is doing the radio tests on that fateful day, he really gives the engineers hell from the capsule owing to poor communication on the radios "Jesus Christ, we can't talk between three building, how the hell are we going to talk on the moon." Classic Gus.
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Von Ein Kunde am 14. August 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
Membership in the unique fraternity, or subculture, which elite pilots comprise requires tremendous tenacity, skill, courage and sacrifice. Wolfe's book provides a primer on this unique life, going on to specifically relate the stories of those selected for the Mercury project. For those of us who reluctantly rise from bed to plod at unsatisfying jobs for rent money, this book will be both humbling and illuminating. One reads of the exhiliration and the heights of achievement possible for the devoted and gifted, despite what may be poor monetary compensation.
Much of the descriptions of people, events and feats is surely dramatization, but the story remains striking. Though he ignores the rules of grammar, the author vividly relates the furor of the early US space program: the public's anxiety over the program, the urgency at NASA and Capitol Hill, as well as the emotions of the astronauts in the cockpit, in training, or at press gatherings. The book provides a fair synopsis of America's leading edge late-fifties and entire-sixties aerospace technology, as well as the public's perception of it.
Be prepared for some disenchanting accounts of the deliberately concealed imperfections in all heroes. We also learn of the many blunders and failures in the design and launch of NASA's space vehicles. Those who were previously cynnical of the space administration will likely find their views changed after reading this book.
This story teaches the benefits of vision and dedication.
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