Read Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr Online


The definitive biography of Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, with exclusive insights from Ride's family and partner, by the ABC reporter who covered NASA during its transformation from a test-pilot boys' club to a more inclusive elite.Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, she broke tThe definitive biography of Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, with exclusive insights from Ride's family and partner, by the ABC reporter who covered NASA during its transformation from a test-pilot boys' club to a more inclusive elite.Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, she broke through a quarter-century of white male fighter jocks when NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, cracking the celestial ceiling and 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 cofounded a company promoting science and education for children, especially girls.Sherr also writes about Ride's scrupulously guarded personal life-she kept her sexual orientation private-with exclusive access to Ride's partner, her former husband, her family, and countless friends and colleagues. Sherr draws from Ride's diaries, files, and letters. 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....

Title : Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781476725765
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space Reviews

  • Nikki
    2019-04-16 14:16

    1.5 starsOverall my rating for this book does not reflect my opinions on Ride but simply the biography itself and the author. The author was the issue here, not the subject matter. First of all, the author clearly is not subjective when it comes to her topic. This would have been fine but the author spends entirely too much time speaking of knowing Ride and praising Ride overall. Even the author's adjective choices were annoying and more in a manner of a friend writing about her than a subjective biography, which is what I was wishing for. The author included absolutely unnecessary details, at times seemingly to only show her connection to Ride, such as publishing a letter Ride wrote for Sherr to get a chance to go to space.Sherr was also apparently obsessed with Ride's sexuality. Ride was very private and few knew her well it would seem and the author never quite seems to get over the fact that *gasp* Ride never told her she had a female partner. The author at one point states that she reacted by saying "Why didn't I know?" and then thought "Why did it matter?" But unfortunately the author clearly was hung up on the "Why didn't I know?" question for the entire book rather than focusing on the fact that it did not freaking matter. Overall Sherr came across to me as obsessed with Ride's sexuality and it overshadowed the entire book. Whenever it could be mentioned it was, even as she was discussing Ride's relationships with men. Overall I did not think her personal relationships should have been harped on as much as they were, whether they were with men or women. Sherr missed a great opportunity to focus on Ride's scientific endeavors. I mean consider a biography about someone heterosexual where the author constantly mentions that they were heterosexual or in a relationship with the opposite sex at any given moment. Sounds rather ridiculous right? Well it is ridiculous whether someone is gay or straight or pansexual or however they identify themselves! I was also irritated that Sherr insisted on calling Ride "gay" despite Ride being in numerous relationships with both men and women. Ride did not seem to be one for labels but if she were to define her sexuality, I don't know if she would call herself "gay" rather than other possibilities and it seems absurd to assume when bisexual or pansexual and others could easily apply.I also found the childhood and tennis aspect dull and too lengthy, I would have preferred more on Ride's studies and doctorate research and her knowledge in general. This clearly felt written by someone with limited scientific knowledge.I did enjoy the parts focusing on Ride being an astronaut and investigating the shuttle accidents, though these parts seemed too short. I also enjoyed the feminist aspect included when discussing women being forbidden from being astronauts early on and the ridiculous reasons/excuses behind it (women can't curl their hair in space! GAH!). Overall a great disappointment, I wish there had been more astronautic and scientific focus and had been written by someone else.

  • Jamie Collins
    2019-03-29 17:07

    A good book about Sally Ride. It sometimes made me a little uncomfortable, though, because the author emphasizes the fact that Sally was a deeply private person, while simultaneously revealing intimate details of her sex life. Sally not only kept her same-sex relationships a secret during her NASA career in the 1980’s, she was still keeping them a secret when she died in 2012, just as she concealed her final illness. That doesn’t sound to me like a woman who would be pleased with this book. The author was a friend, albeit not one of those privy to any secrets, and she consulted with Sally’s partner about this biography, and supposedly Sally gave permission for these disclosures on her deathbed. I hope it’s true.The book is strictly chronological and begins with Sally’s ancestors and her childhood, which is of minimal interest. It covers Sally’s college years, and her tennis - she was a very good player, and considered going pro. It covers her first love affairs.The story picks up, of course, when Sally turns her eyes to NASA. She was finishing her graduate studies in astrophysics at Stanford when she spotted a front-page article in the campus newspaper: “NASA to recruit women”. The story of Sally’s participation in the first American astronaut class to admit women and minorities is fascinating. The author focuses on her experience as a female pioneer in this field - how she was treated by the press, and by NASA, and by her fellow astronauts. Like all astronauts, she was enormously accomplished and highly ambitious, and then she became very famous.(For a different perspective, I’d recommend the memoir Riding Rockets, written by Mike Mullane, one of the “invisible” white guys in Sally’s class. His book is really good, and has a lot more details about being an astronaut, although Mullane was not exactly a feminist and in particular did not get along with Sally Ride.)The book continues to follow Sally’s career after her last shuttle flight: The Rogers Commission and the Ride Report for NASA; then she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego. She spent the rest of her life using her fame in various ways to encourage girls to enter science and engineering fields.

  • Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)
    2019-03-30 20:21

    So good. Incredibly inspiring. It's a great insight into a great woman, it's accessible and it leaves you wanting to be just as smart and inspiring as Dr. Ride.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-09 15:09

    An excellent biography of a fascinating yet elusive persona. The author, Lynn Sherr, who knew Sally since her NASA days was totally unaware of Ride's homosexuality. Sherr had access to Ride's inner circle and was able to explore Ride's life, including her life in the closet. Sally's ex-husband was totally unaware of Ride's previous lesbian relationship and was unaware (until Ride's death) that Ride actually left him for another woman. I wish that Ride had left a more introspective documentation. However, her fame is well deserved and one hopes that her legacy--making science accessible to women continues.

  • Jean Poulos
    2019-04-11 15:20

    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. I read this as an audio book downloaded from Audible. Pam Ward did an excellent job narrating this book.

  • Alice Lemon
    2019-04-05 19:35

    I very much enjoyed this biography of Sally Ride. It seemed mostly well-done, though it did occasionally seem a bit hagiographic, perhaps because it was her authorized (by her family, after she died) biography, and because the author was, as well as being a journalist who'd covered her, a friend.Still, if nothing else, the book did a good job of convincing me that Dr. Ride was a very interesting person. It was interesting to hear about her feminist activism and teaching, and about her efforts to get more girls interested in learning about science.The book also appealed to me as a former (mostly in high school) space flight fan. It was interesting, if depressing, to learn just how misogynistic NASA---including the Apollo-era astronauts I'd enjoyed reading about when I was in high school---had been. And how homophobic: apparently in 1991, NASA tried to implement a rule that would have banned gays from space because the agency considered them mentally ill.Given the agency's homophobia, it's not surprising, even if it is sad, that Dr. Ride felt a need to keep her sexuality and 27-year relationship with her partner secret until she died. She seems to have been worried that it being known would have interfered with her efforts to be involved in science education for girls, and she was probably right. It is telling to note that she is still the only person who has flown in space who is publicly known to have been LGBT.As a side note, since I listened to this as an audiobook, I should note that I thought the reader did a very good job.

  • Catherine
    2019-03-26 20:20

    I just lost my thoughts -- try two. I finished this yesterday and it is still in the front of my mind. I wish that this project would have been started before Sally was gone, so that Sherr did not have to piece this together with out Sally. I would have loved more anecdotes about her junior tennis, Alice Marble and Billie Jean King during that time. BJK plays in her story in later years too. At the time of her death, I remember reading how outraged many in the LGBTQ community were that she didn't come out. I totally get it, particularly given the 1970s and 1980s and her understanding of her place in women's history and her passion for creating more opportunities for women in science and math. I took away from the book that she also felt indebted to NASA given some of her last words to Tam, "I've been thinking things over. Being open about us might be very hard on NASA and the astronaut corps. But I'm okay with that. Whatever you think is right is fine by me." Sally never saw the obituary that Tam wrote. I feel sad that she felt unable to share her relationship with hardly any friends or even family.The reason that I recommended this book to my niece is not her closeted relationship with Tam, but her struggles as the only woman grad student in physics at Stanford in the late 1970s. The comments and barriers that she and the other women in her generation had to contend and work through to get what they wanted made it possible and easier for those of us coming behind. I was in middle school when she was staying her course. I owe them so much in just those few short years. She embraced feminism and the importance of her success to future generations of women and girls in science. It appears from Sherr's book that she willing hid her personal life to help move opportunities for women forward. I would have loved to have lunch with her.Also, some cool facts about the Shuttle and training -- as well as the two shuttle disasters.

  • Evelyn Hayhurst
    2019-03-27 13:09

    This book means a lot to me, as a lesbian in STEM who's admired Sally Ride for a large part of my life. I deeply appreciate everything about this book, and I can't fully articulate it. Sally Ride's passion for science education (for young girls especially) and her optimism and determination will be with me for the rest of my life as I pursue a career in science.

  • Cecelia
    2019-04-24 14:33

    An extremely well written biography of an incredible woman, which also includes excellent historical and societal contexts for the reader. While I had a basic understanding of some of Sally Ride's contributions, this really blew my mind. Definitely a must read for any scientist, policy contributor, or really anyone wanting to be inspired.

  • Karen
    2019-04-04 13:24

    The writing itself wasn't quite a five, though it wasn't bad, but I loved reading this book. It was engaging and thoroughly researched, and I came away from it with so much admiration for Sally.

  • Nicholas
    2019-04-26 17:12

    It's a testament to Sherr's extraordinary abilities as a writer that I found myself on the verge of tears when I closed this book. A biography, of all things! Is it entirely objective? No, but who cares? I thought it was incredibly even-handed, and it's not like Sherr was part of Ride's inner circle. Dr. Ride was an incredibly private person, and it's hard to argue that anyone that far outside her immediate circle of family or her life partner would try to distort or control the facts. Some reviewers have expressed disappointment or opposition to the times Sherr inserts herself into Ride's story as they crossed paths in their careers. I thought it gave a personal touch and stands testament to the way that Ride made people feel included and important in the momentous things she was doing. Sherr makes the reader feel as if they're tagging along on a journey through a pivotal point in the history of America and of space flight and exploration in general. She captures the excitement, the challenges, the frustrations, the disappointments, and the tragedy in vivid detail. My own memories of the 80s are heavily intertwined with the space program. And Dr. Ride's efforts at outreach and education (to "make science cool again") definitely impacted my life. Like other children of the 80s, I desperately wanted to be an astronaut (or a garbageman) and Ride's conquest of the type-A military culture of NASA to put a true civilian in space made that dream feel not so far fetched. For me, Ride's story is one part nostalgia, and one part lifting of the veil. I revisited a time in my life that was formative with the perspective of several years and with greater knowledge at the finer details and inner-workings of society and politics that shaped it. Sherr is a wonderful guide.In addition to wonderfully covering Ride's life, Sherr hits on personality themes repeatedly, showing how certain events and relationships highlight elements of Ride's character in a convincing reconstruction of one of the most private public individuals of the latter half of the 20th century. What she uncovers is someone totally relatable. Shy and reserved, totally introverted, but with a mind like a steel trap and an incredible will. In a word, Ride was competent. And not in the derogatory "meets minimum standards" sense, but in the global sense. She handled her life, her business, her challenges with a steadiness and unflappability, a desire to get things done and give her all, that is simply remarkable. And how fortunate we all are to have had her be there at just the right time. Beyond covering Ride's personality and life, Sherr also recounts the growth and development of the women's rights movement with an eloquence and perspective that gives you a true sense of the magnitude of what Ride achieved. One thing that stuck with me is the repeated refrain from several women, including Ride, that firsts in their fields have to be perfect. They have to be. If a guy screws up—makes a miscalculation, crashes a shuttle, whatever—it's his own personal mistake. If the first woman in space (or the first African-American president) makes a mistake, it's a commentary on the ability of the entire group. The experiment is immediately written off. Welp, we tried to put a woman in space, but you see, they just weren't ready yet. It's so true and completely unfair. I think that, more than anything, but Ride's achievements in perspective for me. She was perfect. The need to be perfect weighed upon her heavily and affected everything from her professional life to revelations about her personal life. She was aware of the meaning of what she was doing, and made incredible personal sacrifices for the good of humanity's exploitation of space and for women and young girls everywhere. And even after the weight was off her shoulders, as she retired from NASA to "private" life, she never really relinquished the burden or the crusade. Her story is perhaps one of the most heroic in modern America and deserves way more attention than it gets. There aren't enough medals in the world to pin on this woman's chest. Her name should be right up there with Sagan and deGrasse Tyson.You need to read this. And Sally, thank you. I wish you were still around.

  • Paul McElligott
    2019-04-15 16:37

    If someone were to sit down and draw up blueprints for the ideal person to be the first American woman in space, the end product would probably look a lot like Sally K. Ride: plain-spoken and unflappable, personable and brilliant. One might tweak the setting for introvert vs. extrovert just a little, but other than that, you could say that NASA hit the bullseye when they picked Ride to be one of six women in the astronaut class of 1978, the “thirty-five new guys,” aka TFNG, and then selected her to prove that glass ceilings were no match for a pair of solid rocket boosters.Sally (always Sally, almost never “Dr. Ride”) shares a lot in common with the United States’ other spacefaring icon, Neil Armstrong, but the first moonwalkers’ aversion to the public eye was much more acute. Rather than withdraw from public life as totally as Armstrong did, Sally overcame her natural reticence, and wielded her fame with purpose, seeking to demystify science for young girls and encourage more young women to see scientific fields as a viable career, trying to hold open the doors her missions in space had kicked down.Her primary post-NASA endeavor, Sally Ride Science (SRS), done in partnership with her partner in life, Tam O’Shaughnessey, creates projects and programs designed to, in Sally’s own words, “make science cool again.” Perhaps the crowning achievements of these efforts were EarthKam and MoonKam, which installed cameras on real NASA missions, allowing school children function as mission control and capturing their own images of both bodies.In between NASA and SRS, Sally worked for the Center for International Security and Arms Control at her alma mater, Stanford, bringing her physics background and space experience to the field of world peace at the end of the Cold War.Journalist Lynn Sherr had a somewhat daunting task when it came to writing a biography, despite being Sally’s friend since before her first shuttle flight. Sally’s death after a sixteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer as well as her twenty-five-year relationship with Tam, caught even her closest friends off guard, so successfully had Sally guarded her private life from public scrutiny.After Sally died, I was one of the millions briefly surprised by the revelations that America’s first woman astronaut had been in a long-term relationship with another woman, but like most Americans, I focused less on the sensationalistic nature of the reporting and did what was appropriate, marking the passing of a hero.Sadly, Sally remained a product of her time, growing up in the Eisenhower fifties, and also of NASA’s conservative and quasi-military culture, never feeling free to live as who she really was.Given the opacity of her subject, Sherr does a remarkable job of illuminating Sally Ride as a fully formed human being. Her journalistic rather than scholarly style recalls the Life magazine cover stories of the Mercury days, but without airbrushing out the warts. Sally’s almost impenetrable emotional reserve, often half-jokingly credited to her Norwegian ancestors, took its toll on some her personal relationships, including her marriage to fellow astronaut Steve Hawley, even placing strains on her partnership with Tam.So successful is Sherr in fleshing out the human being behind that curtain of privacy that the chapter dealing with Sally’s losing battle with cancer is a tough read. I’m not too proud to admit that tears welled up. Even though I never met America’s first woman in space, Sherr succeeds in making me feel like I’d lost more than just an admired public figure. I felt like I was losing a friend.

  • Shel
    2019-04-14 13:22

    I went from skeptic to believer on this book. At first, I was concerned because the book started off with Sally Ride's ancestry and childhood anecdotes and was determined to tell her story in chronological order (not always the best storytelling method - sometimes the worst!).I feared this biography was going to suffer from The Boys in the Boat syndrome wherein the author, having done a ton of research and interviews with friends and family members, now feels compelled to include all of it. I was rewarded a third of the way in when Sally travels to space for the first time (1983), fascinating stuff, but wondered, "Well, now what?". However, this is where the book takes flight. Sally Ride's story is exceptional and the book rightly portrays her evolution from "California girl" to legendary figure. Dr. Ride used her celebrity and achievements to advance equality for women, inspire girls to pursue science, and advocate for protection of our Earth. I loved how she went to space, looked back and thought about how to care for our Earth (this mirrors the female perspective lent to science fiction — writers who create new worlds and aliens to write about terrestrial issues).It does feel like by the end of this book Sally Ride has lost all privacy as if she had lived her entire life on Facebook. It tells everything from the music she played to the foods she ate to who became her intimates. All of this ultimately tells a story of the ordinary rising to extraordinary. The result is inspiring.Quotable:"As first females know well, every small step by one is a giant leap for us all.""That she could not, or would not, openly identify herself as a gay woman, reflects not only her intense need for privacy, but the shame and fear that an intolerant society can inflict even on its heroes. And the consequences of that secrecy on many of those close to her.""NASA should embrace Mission to Planet Earth. This initiative is responsive, time-critical, and shows recognition of our responsibility to our home planet. Do we dare apply our capabilities to explore the mysteries of our own world — mysteries which may have important implications for our future on this planet?" — Sally Ride"You know what was absolutely amazing to me was the feeling I had looking back at's remarkable how beautiful our planet is, and how fragile it looks." — Sally Ride"I remember the first time that I looked towards the horizon. I saw the blackness of space, and then the bright blue Earth. And then I noticed right along the horizon it looked as if someone had taken a royal blue crayon and just traced along Earth's horizon. And then I realized that that blue line, that really thin royal blue line, was Earth's atmosphere, and that was all there was of it. And so it's clear from that perspective how fragile our existence is. It makes you appreciate how important it is to take care of that atmosphere." — Sally RideNotable: Sally Ride's launch took place June 18, 1983 (STS-7). She was the third female in space after Soviets Valentina Tereshkova (Vostok 6 1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (Soyuz, 1982).Following her diagnosis with pancreatic cancer when a cure and survival still seemed possible, Sally and her partner Tam, "After reading studies linking meat and dairy products to increased health risks, they both became strict vegans." Sally died of pancreatic cancer at age 61 in 2012.At age 32, she was NASA's youngest astronaut to travel to space (and remains so 2015) and has been honored as the first LGBT astronaut.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-31 20:13

    After reading the opening segment of Sally Ride, I thought, "This Sherr lady can write." Her writing style informs the reader consistently throughout Ride's biography that the book is a labor of love. The personal attachment to Ride is evident but not pervasive; it enhances not obscures the reader's view of Ride's life. I was not well versed in Sally Ride nor the space program in general prior to reading this book. I read it because I had won it in a First Reads giveaway and I'll try any book once. The book is written with just that type of reader in mind: the person with the bare bones knowledge of NASA and the history of space flight. Sherr includes sections, sometimes substantial ones, that give the background and progression of certain topics. These mini-history lessons not only provide more knowledge for the reader to walk away with, but they also enable the reader to understand more fully just what it was that made Sally Ride's accomplishments so extraordinary. I really enjoyed learning about Sally Ride's life; I feel as if I almost knew her. I did not realize all that she had done nor did I recognize the sacrifices she had made. Sherr hones in on that point toward the end of the biography and perhaps that is the saddest bit of all. Like practically all biographies, the subject is portrayed in a positive light, but I thought Sherr did a fair job of writing a balanced account. She showed Sally's obvious talents and also some character weaknesses that affected her life just as anyone's flaws affect his/her life. (view spoiler)[ I thought the adultery was a bit underplayed; that's kind of a big deal that was just, well yeah Steve didn't know she had taken another lover.(hide spoiler)] I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a non-fiction book to digest. It doesn't require too much thinking while reading, but it will leave you with a wealth of knowledge and, for me, a refreshed appreciation for space exploration.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-24 13:31

    This book was a pleasant surprise. I read it primarily because of my love of space exploration and science, and I remember Sally Ride's career as an astronaut well. I found out that I knew very little about her at all. While growing up, going through college, and throughout her NASA career she was always up against the "old boys club" which resulted in her becoming a strong feminist and devoting her post-NASA life to STEM education for children, especially girls. She was breaking down gender barriers from her teen age years on: she was a college tennis star when tennis scholarships were only offered to men, she was a genius student in astrophysics and was one of the only women in her high level science classes throughout college, and was one of the first three women astronauts who dealt with a historically all-male organization in NASA. She accomplished so much, the whole time hiding her same-sex relationships (her relationship with Tam O'Shaughnessy lasted 27 years until Sally's death) fearing that she, and (later) her science education organizations, would not be accepted by society if her sexual orientation came to light. The book was written by Lynn Sherr, who became friends with Sally while covering NASA as a journalist. The amount of research and number of interviews Lynn did for the book was impressive. My favorite story in the book was Sally arranging a secret meeting between herself and Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, when Sally was in traveling in Hungary. This was during the height of the Cold War and she was cautioned by the State Department not to talk to the Russians. It as a fascinating story - the first two women in space getting together while their countries were enemies. Once I got through the chapters about Sally's childhood years I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommended - 4.9 stars.

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-03-26 14:27

    “Sally Ride” by Lynn Sherr, published by Simon and Schuster.Category – Biography Publication Date - June 03, 2014The space race is on and the United States is far behind. The Russians have beat us badly with the first satellite, first animal, first man, and first woman in space.The United States counters with NASA and male fighter jocks from the armed services. Great strides are made as the United States flies past the Russians by putting the first man on the moon.However, NASA has become a male oriented organization and to overcome this NASA hires women to participate in the space shuttle program. Sally Ride was part of the first class of astronauts to include women. Sally was a highly education young women that received a physics degree from Stanford University. She showed her mettle when she, after arduous training and studying, was named as America’s First Woman in Space. Sally flew on two space shuttle missions and performed admirably on both flights.She was so respected in the NASA community that she was appointed to the boards on the Challenger and Columbia investigation committees.Sally’s true love was in education, especially in the education of young women. She did everything she could to instill in them that they could do anything, especially in the sciences.This is an excellent read for young women, although I feel in may not get into their hands due to Sally’s sexual orientation, a fact she hid until her death. I would hope that we are able to look beyond that and focus on the amazing things that she accomplished.

  • Sara
    2019-04-21 16:28

    I received this book for free in the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. I was not otherwise compensated for my review.So the racial stuff in this is suuuuper weird - definitely not the best treatment possible - but I deeply enjoyed reading about Ride herself, who was one of my childhood heroes. I'm so glad that her sexuality is discussed in the book (although I'd have loved more about/from Tam, Ride's partner), and the overall tone is very warm, in that you can tell that Sherr really liked and admired Ride, which is nice. I do wish it was more...I don't want to say "serious," but maybe more critical? Sherr's admiration and respect for Ride make it seem like it would be difficult to view her life or choices with a negative eye. I'm definitely not saying I wanted a gossipy hit piece on Ride, but I felt like many of the moments where a biographer who wasn't a friend would have talked more critically, Sherr went to bat for Ride. But that's my own drama-loving self talking, and this was a very nice read.

  • Ellen
    2019-04-12 16:12

    This was a very balanced view of Ride, not only the first American woman in space, but also a physicist, businesswoman and spokesperson for women's equality. She worked hard to encourage girls to open themselves to math and science careers. I was delighted to learn so much about the space program as well as the details of living in space. Ride was a complicated and very private person and Sherr knew her as well as anyone outside her innermost circle. My husband worked with Sally for a short time (and is quoted in the book) and I've met her, and we both assumed she was gay, but it is heartbreaking that she felt she needed to keep this part of her life (and life's partner) undisclosed.

  • Molly
    2019-04-26 15:16

    I've always been interested in space and astronauts, so I was really excited to pick up this book. The author of the book knew Sally pretty well, and I think it allows the reader to gain a bit more insight into who Sally Ride was as a person. I think this is especially important because Sally was a private person, and only allowed tiny glimpses into her life.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about America's first woman in space, with the knowledge that Sally was so much more than that.

  • Rhonda Lomazow
    2019-04-19 18:25

    Lynn Sherr has written a an honest fascinating book about America's first woman astronaut Sally Ride.She peels away the layers to show us the real person not just the figurehead.Through interviews with friends &family&most importantly Tam her life partner of 27 years.a lesbian love affair she chose to hide.An insiders look at Sally Ride by her friend Lynn Sherr told in an honest real book that will keep you turning the pages.

  • Crystal Starr Light
    2019-03-28 18:13

    OMG THIS IS A GOODREADS GIVEAWAY BOOK!Sally Ride was sorta my idol back in 6th grade, when I decided I wanted to be an aerospace engineer. She became first woman in space the year I was born, and I BAWLED when she more recently passed (almost as bad as when my grandfather passed). I mean, HOW COULD YOU TAKE THIS AMAZING WOMAN AWAY FROM THIS WORLD GORRAMMITT??!?!!?!If I do not win this book, then I know the world hates me.

  • Ginny
    2019-04-25 21:30

    I enjoyed this book, I learned a lot about Sally Ride, the space program and her interests in science, women's equality in all aspects of life and her life outside of the professional persona.A quote from the book sums it all up (page 276) "...allowed her, finally. to combine her most deeply held principles: equality for women and girls, the elegance of science and the magic of space". "Stimulate creative minds and then anything is possible" SR (less)

  • Laurie Heupel
    2019-04-11 13:17

    Great Book a excellent read, Lynn Sherr has done a great job on writing this biography of a very private person. It was a well researched book and very informative. I was a admirer of Dr. Ride when she went into space but I also was very impressed with her company and what she was doing in the field of education.Ms. Sherr was able to give us a insight into a very private person's life and did it with such grace and class.

  • Kay
    2019-04-03 18:15

    I really enjoyed this book. I don't read a lot of nonfiction. If that's you, you should give this one a try. Great story telling of Sally's life that provides a good mixture of personal relationships along with amazing accomplishments of her life in space and her work furthering the options of women and girls in science. Great work by the author and all those who contributed.

  • Michael
    2019-03-29 13:30

    Lynn Sherr covered the Shuttle program and knew Sally Ride as well as anyone outside NASA or her immediate circle of friends -- this solidly-researched and beautifully-written book shows that. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job of telling the story of the life and career of the first American woman space traveler.

  • Kate
    2019-04-04 17:19

    How can I get Lynn Sherr to write my biography? She has done a perfect job of capturing the spirit of Sally Ride, a hero but also an enigma. I found myself identifying with Sally as I was reading, and I daresay many others would as well, with such a rich portrait of the first woman in space as this.

  • Erin
    2019-04-18 20:22

    Fascinating read about an accomplished and driven woman. I needed something uplifting after the election, and this book definitely helped. Sally Ride's drive and scientific mind were impressive and her contributions to the world of science were amazing.

  • Rebekkah
    2019-04-19 13:27

    This book gutted me. Which seems like an unlikely thing to say about a biography of a scientist. But it totally did.

  • Brian Bradley
    2019-03-29 20:36

    Well written and really-thorough biography of a very private person who made an impact not just on history but in gender barriers, science and education.

  • Marilyn
    2019-04-02 17:26

    Sally Ride was an interesting woman who lead a fascinating life.