The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff

by Tom Wolfe
4.3 39


$13.17 $16.00 Save 18% Current price is $13.17, Original price is $16. You Save 18%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Eligible for FREE SHIPPING


The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe


THE MEN HAD IT. Yeager. Conrad. Grissom. Glenn. Heroes...the first Americans in space...battling the Russians for control of the heavens...putting their lives on the line.

THE WOMEN HAD IT. While Mr. Wonderful was aloft, it tore your heart out that the Hero's Wife, down on the ground, had to perform with the whole world watching...the TV Press Conference: "What's in your heart? Do you feel with him while he's in orbit?"


It's the quality beyond bravery. It's men like

  • CHUCK YEAGER, the greatest test pilot of all and the fastest man on earth.
  • PETE CONRAD who almost laughed himself out of the running.
  • GUS GRISSOM who almost lost it when his capsule sank.
  • JOHN GLENN, the only space traveler whose apple-pie image wasn't a lie.


--The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553381351
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication date: 10/28/2001
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.03(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

Tom Wolfe is the author of a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. He lives in New York City.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

March 2, 1931

Place of Birth:

Richmond, Virginia


B.A. (cum laude), Washington and Lee University, 1951; Ph.D. in American Studies, Yale University, 1957

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Right Stuff 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful insight into the complex politics and personalities involved. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much better than the movie- as usual...and the movie was very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Right Stuff focuses on the original 7 Mercury astronauts. At first I thought this book would be boring and mainly about science. I was quickly proven wrong. Tom Wolfe gives the reader a clear view of the entire Mercury project, while still keeping it exciting. He gives you facts and background information so that if you nothing about astronauts you will still understand everything in the book. The book does start off a little slow, but after the first 25 pages I quickly became absorbed in it. The author does an excellent job of describing the emotions and the mindset of the original 7. He describes how they possessed something more than courage. Any fool could climb into a rocket. But what made the astronauts unique, was the ability to do it day after day and even manage to enjoy it. Overall I thought this was a good read. But if you don't find astronauts interesting, you will most likely hate this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So this was the first Tom Wolfe book I've read, and I can tell you that is does not disappoint, and neither does Wolfe's ability to portray the struggles and triumphs of the Original Seven. A must read for anyone interested in the space race or flight in general!
Anonymous 27 days ago
Perhaps being a bit biased due to my intense interest in the subject matter, I found Wolfe’s recounting of the events of the fledgling space program against the backdrop of the force invisible, that ancient religion — the “right stuff” to be thoroughly informative, but providing more than a few grins throughout. I cannot recommend this brilliant book enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The contrast between the air force pilots and the astronauts was fascinating. The astronauts influencing NASA to make it truly a pilot position as a point pride turned out to be necessary in the end for both the safety of the astronauts and future of the space program.
Alex_Maurer More than 1 year ago
The Right Stuff In the book “The Right Stuff” it talks about the history of air and space flight. This book took place in the 1960s-1980s. It started out with Pete and how he loved to fly planes. Then NASA wanted to be the first country to launch a man in space and beat Russia. Unfortunately the USA weren’t the first country to launch a man into space – The Soviet Union was. Then they wanted to go forth and launch a rocket to the moon. The USA was the first and only country to ever send a man to the moon. This was a great book. It was a little hard to for me read, so I would recommend it to anyone in high school or above. It was an exciting book. I would strongly recommend this book to whoever likes history of planes, famous astronauts, and space flight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has the right stuff, just like the mercury seven. It is a story of a great invisible ziggurat made of ‘the right stuff’; and how every pilot in the military tries to reach the top. There are ‘summits’ of the might pyramid, when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the X-1, then the advent of the X-15 program, Being the first man to pilot a ship into the upper atmosphere and eventually space. It shows men’s journey up the ziggurat, who are all left behind, to seven skilled men that are brave enough to sit on a rocket ‘that always blows up’ and will be hurtled into the heavens for a glorious moment. That moment is when that man, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper; sits on top of the menacing ziggurat, knowing that every other human being is below him. A major theme in this book is bravery. All pilots had to be incredibly brave to climb in test aircraft that always crashed and rockets that always blew up. The wives of the pilot also had to be brave to marry their husband, knowing full well the statistics of the survival rate of a military test pilot. The ziggurat symbolizes the process that every pilot underwent, and it determined who had the right stuff. This was important because it weeded out the pilot who didn’t make the cut, whether in night carrier landings, high speed maneuvers or even medically (Deke Slayton). I enjoyed the book because I enjoy cold war history and aircraft, but I found that some parts in the beginning of the book were very dry. You would enjoy this book if you like science or if you want to learn about the early U.S. Space program from the view of the astronauts. If you enjoy this book, the books Yeager and Apollo 13 would be good for you. Overall, I found this book very entertaining and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was informative and great entertainment. I loved reading about each of the astronauts stories ! NASA, roots from Chuck Yeager the greatest test pilot of all time through the rocket age.
SpeedReaderBG More than 1 year ago
I was raised in this environment, in this time period. Wolff got it right. His insight into these people and this life is right on. He brought things I observed into focus, his ability to portray it all amazes me.
JoshuaB More than 1 year ago
This book is great. This is without a doubt the best book I have ever read on astronauts. This book is good for all readers.
goldstein-gregg More than 1 year ago
Fantastic voyage with Tom Wolfe and the Mercury seven.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book started off a little slow, but by the end of the first chapter it hooked you. I thought this book would be very science based, but I was proven wrong when I got further into the book. This book covers the original 7 men to become astronauts as well as their families. The author does a great job explaining the emotion and describing everything so realistically. I found a couple typo errors such as the word Has, and Had being repeated twice, but overall the writing style was great. The book is very interesting if you’re into science, airplanes, or aerospace, but otherwise I think you’d get bored quickly if you had no interest in it. There’s incredible detail and wonderful explanations throughout the book and overall a good interesting read. I highly recommend the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago