Sally Ride

  • by Lynn Sherr
  • Narrated by Pam Ward
  • 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, inspiring several generations of women. After a second flight, Ride served on the panels investigating the Challenger explosion and the Columbia disintegration that killed all aboard. In both instances, she faulted NASA's rush to meet mission deadlines and its organizational failures. She also cofounded a company promoting science and education for children, especially girls.
In Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space, Lynn Sherr writes about Ride's scrupulously guarded personal life, with exclusive access to Ride's partner, her former husband, her family, and countless friends and colleagues. This is a rich biography of a fascinating woman whose life intersected with revolutionary social and scientific changes in America. Sherr's revealing portrait is warm and admiring but unsparing. It makes this extraordinarily talented and bold woman - an inspiration to millions - come alive.

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Customer Reviews

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Captivating

Lynn Sherr has written a riveting biography rich in detail, largely because of the co-operation of family, friends and colleagues in sharing reminiscences and correspondence. Sherr also had access to NASA, University documents as well as newspapers and so on. Sherr was an ABC News reporter covering NASA and became a friend of Sally Ride. This is not a hagiography. I felt as if I was sitting down with Sherr over a cup of tea while she related a story about a friend; instead of feeling like I was reading a biography. Sherr cover Rides early life as a rising tennis star to gifted student. This is done by intertwining remembrances of family and fellow students. Ride graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. in physics and with a goal of becoming a university professor. She saw an ad in the Stanford University newsletter stating NASA was hiring women. She applied and was accepted. Sherr covers the time at NASA in great detail. She married Steve Hawley a fellow astronaut and they remained friends after their divorce. Sherr tells how difficult it was for Ride to give speeches and be in the public eye because she was such an introvert. Ride was a member of the commission that investigated both shuttle accidents. After leaving NASA Ride returned to Stanford then went on to University of California San Diego where she was a popular professor for many years. She felt that the poor performance by students in science and math was a threat to America’s future so she founded Sally Ride Science to make science cool for girls and boys. She encouraged women to enter science, math and engineering careers. Toward the end of the book Sherr reveals that Ride was in a lesbian relationship with Tam O’Shaughnessy for twenty-seven years. The relationship was known only to a tight circle of friends. Sherr states that Ride was intensely protective of her privacy. On her death bed she gave permission to O’Shaughnessy to reveal their relationship or not. Tams choose to reveal their relationship in the obituary and via interviews in this captivating biography. Pam Ward did an excellent job narrating this book.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Lynn Sherr was the Perfect Biographer

With her background as a "space" correspondent, Ms Sherr was in the right place at the right time to make an acquaintance with Sally Ride. Although the astronaut was a very private person, she did share some of her thoughts with the reporter through their years of friendship. The special relationship probably helped the author gain access to other friends who could add their recollections of Sally to make a well researched biography.

The book also illuminates that era of NASA history involving picking a group of astronauts of varying demographics to fly on the space shuttle. It was interesting to see the extent of training these non-pilot scientists were given. Sally was a member of both Columbia and Challenger crash panels and those experiences were handled well by Ms Sherr.

The second half of the book details a more general indictment of how our society has discouraged girls from pursuing science careers and the role Sally played in encouraging both teachers and kids in how to make teaching science interesting.
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- Jane Mcdowell

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio