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Book Information

Random House Paperback
239pp, $13.95

ISBN: 0375758933

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NPR Interview
The Mercury 13
NPR Commentary
35th Anniversay of Moon Walk

The Mercury 13
Critical Acclaim

"...a revealing snapshot of a country simultaneously caught up in the romance of the future and snarled in the prejudice of the past." -Time Magazine

"This is not just a book about the space program...It is a metaphor for every occasion when women were denied an opportunity to pursue their dreams...For those who want to understand the barriers and the persistence of an earlier generation [of women] who worked hard to make all this possible, I say, 'Read this book.'" - The Boston Globe

"For women young and old, as well as men young and old, who want to learn something that until now has been nearly buried in post-World War II American history." - Denver Post

"In dynamic prose, Ackmann...relates the story of thirteen female pilots who fought to become part of the nation's space program at its inception. Their tale is uplifting, a narrative of their dedication...and sacrifice in an attempt to aid the nation in the space race against the Soviets and to experience the thrill of space flight....An utterly compelling book." - Publisher's Weekly (Starred review)

"What is it about this country of America that launched the women's movement that it would so easily forget the story of these thirteen women who wanted, who dreamed of, and tested for space travel? They were part of our nation's history...["The Mercury 13"] is an important book." - Anne Curry, NBC's "Today" show

"An absorbing story...that deserves to be told and one that is told very well indeed." - USA Today

"[Ackmann] has done a commendable job of documenting this story, one the deserves to be heard out of respect for the women who wanted nothing more than an equal chance, and in recognition of their courage that paved the way for the next generation of women astronauts."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"In this brisk, bracing book...Martha Ackmann takes us back to an unregretted period not so long ago when a female aviator was expected to wear a dress and high heels under her flight suit...[A] stirring story." - Newsday

"[A] sharply pointed narrative [about how thirteen] highly skilled fliers were grounded, leaving it to the Russians to put a woman in space fully twenty years before the American government saw fit to do so. A shameful episode exposed with thoroughness and a graceful pen." - Kirkus Reviews

"This well-researched, elegantly written book not only pays deserved tribute to those thirteen pilots but also underscores the dismal history of sexism at the highest levels of American government." - Chicago Sun-Times

"Fascinating...Besides being an excellent volume in the category of women's studies, 'The Mercury 13' also serves to fill a crucial gap in the history of NASA and (wo)manned space flight"
- BookPage

"This exciting story is well worth reading...Here were thirteen women who wanted opportunity above all, thirteen women who would have laid their lives on the line to prove that women deserved a chance to become the best they could be." - The Women's Review of Books

"Lovingly researched and beautifully written...Ackmann goes at it with gusto."
- The Orlando Sentinel

"A lively account of the little-known attempt to qualify women as astronauts in the early sixties...a work of nonfiction as ambitious as its subjects." - The Christian Science Monitor

"'The Mercury 13' ought to be on the shelf next to "The Right Stuff' as a glaring and embarrassing counterpoint to the triumph of the boys' club and its fighter jocks. Ackmann has done outstanding investigative reporting." - William E. Burrows, author of This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age

"['The Mercury 13'] demonstrates the determination of the women who tried to become astronauts, as well as identifying a few well-placed men who wanted to break the gender barrier....Ackmann juggles a lot of characters while carrying a narrative thread successfully. Her research is impressive." - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"A fine read that inspires fist-shaking indignation." - Wired

"Impressive research, vivid biographical details...and even-handed narration...'Mercury 13' [is] an inspirational story about perseverance, courage, and ultimate triumph." - Bookmarks

"Ackmann...draws vivid portraits.... She has an inherently interesting story, and she tells it well."
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Ackmann's account is well-researched, well-written and revelatory...She explores the myths that caused so many otherwise intelligent politicians, space engineers, military officers and even women to reject women as serious astronaut candidates." - Austin American-Statesman

Copyright 2005-2010 Martha Ackmann