The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts

S. & S. Audio. Sept. 2023. 11:41 hrs. ISBN 9781797160610. $24.99. HIST
Bloomberg News reporter Grush debuts with a gripping history of NASA’s first six women astronauts—Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Lee Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon. Grush’s account details these women’s stunning triumphs as well as the infuriating misogyny they faced as they made their marks in the field. Narrator Inés del Castillo brings these pioneering women off the page, fleshing out their personas with appropriate levels of emotion. There is sadness in her voice when she speaks of the Challenger disaster, for instance, but she doesn’t overdramatize. She trusts the writing and allows the events to speak for themselves, while offering sincere empathy. Listeners will likely be amazed by the women’s accomplishments and long to hear more about these groundbreaking individuals who went from ogled and trivialized to largely forgotten. The book ends with incisive commentary on the lasting effects of misogyny in science and with hope for a more equitable future.
VERDICT An excellent purchase to appeal to listeners who enjoyed Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures. Of particular interest to readers of Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, which offers a different perspective on a history that might have been.
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