The Right Stuff

by Tom Wolfe

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Critical Context (Masterplots II: Juvenile & Young Adult Literature Series)

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The Right Stuff is a contemporary masterpiece, by far the best book ever written on the early period of space travel. Tom Wolfe is a formidable observer of American culture, and although The Right Stuff is not specifically targeted for young adult readers (it contains a moderate amount of profanity), the amount of detail concerning the period and the pilots should make enjoyable reading for most high school students.

The Right Stuff solidified Wolfe’s position as one of the United States’ best contemporary observers and among its very best stylists. While one might call the book a history, it is actually more of a personal essay writ large, a crackling exposé of real people behind the public masks that they wear.

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Critical Context (Literary Essentials: Nonfiction Masterpieces)