Writing Techniques in The Right Stuff

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A four-part article on the U.S. astronauts first appeared in Rolling Stone in 1973, six years before the publication of The Right Stuff as a separate volume.

Although the work is largely factual and based on seven years of meticulous research and interviews, Wolfe takes many of the liberties accorded novelists: He changes the names of four figures; he often describes a character's state of mind and thoughts; he records long stretches of dialogue as direct quotation.

Often identified as a writer of "New Journalism," Wolfe relies upon exhaustive research and interviews to recreate events. He is part social historian, part novelist, and part wide-eyed spectator.

The Right Stuff reports momentous events through a very human perspective — often that of the wife of a test pilot or astronaut.

As elsewhere, Wolfe is a great phrasemaker. Like the phrase "the Me Decade," "the right stuff" has entered common...

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This section contains 257 words
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Buy The Right Stuff Study Guide
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