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The Right Stuff

(1979)
A non fiction book by

 
 
Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979--the year the book appeared--Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. "The Right Stuff," he explains, "became a story of why men were willing--willing?--delighted!--to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero."

Wolfe's roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his "characters" as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot's wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne.

Wolfe traces Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Gus Grissom's embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn's apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative's epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America's manned space program. --Patrick O'Kelley



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Used availability for Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff

Hardback Editions

2004 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Right Stuff: Illustrated
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 1-57912-458-5 / 978-1-57912-458-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2001 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Right Stuff (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-613-91667-0 / 978-0-613-91667-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 1983 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom James Wolfe
ISBN: 0-8085-1136-X / 978-0-8085-1136-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Topeka Bindery
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1983 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-374-25033-2 / 978-0-374-25033-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1984 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-89621-523-7 / 978-0-89621-523-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1979 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-224-01443-9 / 978-0-224-01443-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1979 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-374-25032-4 / 978-0-374-25032-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff (Vintage Classics)
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 1-78487-371-3 / 978-1-78487-371-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2008 : USA Paperback
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Title: RIGHT STUFF
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-312-42756-5 / 978-0-312-42756-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2005 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-09-947937-0 / 978-0-09-947937-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2001 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-553-38135-0 / 978-0-553-38135-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1991 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff (Picador Books)
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-330-31819-5 / 978-0-330-31819-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon UK   


February 1989 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-552-99367-0 / 978-0-552-99367-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Black Swan
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


1980 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-553-20700-8 / 978-0-553-20700-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 1980 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-553-27556-9 / 978-0-553-27556-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1980 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-553-24063-3 / 978-0-553-24063-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1980 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-553-25596-7 / 978-0-553-25596-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 1981 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-553-17734-6 / 978-0-553-17734-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Availability: Amazon   


Audio Editions

April 2019 : MP3 CD
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 1-978672-75-6 / 978-1-978672-75-8
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


December 2018 : USA Audio CD

Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 1-5226-4280-3 / 978-1-5226-4280-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


February 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


February 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


April 1989 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
ISBN: 0-7366-1555-5 / 978-0-7366-1555-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2018 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Right Stuff (Vintage Classics)
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


May 2004 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Right Stuff
Author(s): Tom Wolfe
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA