Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

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Rate: 4/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers): Absolutely inspiring is one way to describe Hidden Figures. As a female scientist I’d been eagerly looking forward to reading this book before watching the highly acclaimed movie. The women highlighted in Hidden Figures should be an inspiration to all, based on their amazing accomplishments achieved by overcoming seemingly impossible hurdles. Their sheer intelligence alone served as motivation for some needed self-reflection on my part. Shetterly did a wonderful job shaping the political and social environment for African Americans, specifically educated females, during the Space Race era, as well as setting the stage throughout this book by transitioning with the ever shifting state of the government’s foreign affairs, e.g., WW2, Cold War. With that being said, Shetterly, focused so much of her attention on the social and political obstacles encountered by these remarkable women that I felt as though their scientific achievements were less emphasized that I was expecting. I’m very well aware that my training as a scientist has me bias in this regard, however in contrast effort exacted detailing the women’s social lives outside of the laboratory, their scientific contributions seemed glossed over. Overall, Hidden Figures was a fascinating read and I’m grateful to Shetterly for bringing these women into the limelight again, serving to inspire a whole new generation of women.


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