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The Astronaut Wives Club [Paperback]

Lily Koppel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

13 Mar 2014
The true story of the wives behind the American Space Race, the challenges they faced in the '50s and '60s, and the 40 year friendship that bound them together.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (13 Mar 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0755362624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755362622
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The true story of the wives behind the American Space Race, the challenges they faced in the '50s and '60s, and the 40 year friendship that bound them together.

About the Author

Lily Koppel is the bestselling author of The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal. She writes for the New York Times, and her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the Huffington Post, and Glamour.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Great glimpse into the days of the "Space Race" 25 July 2014
Lily Koppel tells the story of the wives of the first three sets of NASA astronauts, spanning the period from 1959 (when the "Mercury Seven", the first astronauts, were announced) until 1972 (when the Apollo missions ended with the last man leaving the surface of the moon).

A lot has been written about the astronauts and their missions, but this is the first book about their wives. The first seven had no idea what was in store for them when their husbands were chosen out of the many applicants. Up until then, they had been test pilot's wives, moving from base to base with their husbands, raising their children in ever-changing environments, trying to establish new friendships with the other families living on base all the time.

All of a sudden, their husbands were in the limelight - and so were they, gaining celebrity status from one minute to the next. None of the ladies was prepared for this, and nobody did prepare them or help them. They did make a few mistakes at first, but quickly learned, and found they could cope much better with the pressure from being constantly under the public eye when they helped each other.

Of course, there were also the plus sides: meetings with "Jackie" at the White House, balls and dinner parties with a host of Hollywood stars, nice dresses given to them by well-known fashion companies to be worn as living advertisments, dream houses and cars for symbolic amounts of money (such as a corvette for just 1 $ a year).
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Negative and choppy 9 Nov 2013
By Ethel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought they painted a very negative picture of the wives and the astronauts. I realize they weren't "perfect" and I know there is a tendency to believe that rules were made for mere mortals, and yet I can't believe that they were as black as they were painted.

I also had a problem with her writing. It seemed to jump from one subject to another. She talks about Pat White taking too many pills, or maybe she was going to, but then she drops that whole subject. I haven't reached the end of the book, but I'd like to know what they did (if anything) to help her. The book doesn't flow from one Mission to another. It just drops one and starts another with no connection between them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History has a face and becomes real 21 July 2013
By shortladyw/dog - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My parents woke me to watch the first moon walk but unfortunately, I was too young to remember the event. I love history but could never truly appreciate the NASA accomplishments of obitting the earth and traveling to the moon until I got to know the wives. It was the wives that lead me down a personal journey to understanding the era and time. Admittedly, I took notes of the many couples and families to help me connect with the names and circumstances but that is what kept my attention. I felt drawn to these women and in complete awe of their strength and fortitude. They brought back wonderful memories of my great-aunt and the proper socializing ladies did back then with the swapping of recipes but it also reminded me of the "stand-by your man" attitude and pressures that were placed on women of this era, and especially these astronaut wives. These women are the "Rosie the Riveters" of their era, doing what they had to do, not complaining, but doing it with style and grace under tremendous pressure. These women endured more than we will ever know and I would consider it a tremendous honor to meet anyone of them, although I am sure that I would faint in their presence! Lily thank you for bringing this inspirational story forward as this has made a tremendous impact on my life. A thousand and one "Cheers" to not only the wives who made the astronauts possible but who exemplify a strong symbol of women of any generation. Thank you for sharing your story!!!
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