The second landmark work by Tom Wolfe tells the stories of the first Americans to fly beyond the atmosphere: test pilot Chuck Yeager and the astronauts of Project Mercury. It’s all there: fast cars, astro-groupies, wives, propaganda campaigns, a hovering vice president, and the feeling of sitting on top of a big can full of barely-contained explosives. Wolfe’s work is masterful.
Wolfe’s first masterpiece is a trip through trippy times on Ken Kesey’s bus. Essays from Acid Test ground zero, featuring real life characters straight out of Kerouac. Hunter Thompson gives us details in his books and Wolfe gives us the scene, the zeitgeist. Interestingly, Thompson shared his notes with Wolfe at times, particularly for details on a party at Kesey’s house.