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Astro Turf: The Private Life of Rocket Science by M. G. Lord
Astro Turf is part memoir and part look back at American culture and the aerospace industry in the 1950s. M. G. Lord's father was an aerospace engineer working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory then, and he was a man of his times. He was conformist, sexist, and more comfortable at work than at home. Even when his wife was dying of cancer, he stayed away from home leaving his daughter alone to take care of her mother. As an adult, M. G. Lord delved into her past in an attempt to understand her father and the environment created by the space program. She discovered that one of the founders of JPL was a satanist and another was hounded by the government as a communist once he became a pacifist. It was the era of the Cold War, McCarthyism, and German scientists allowed into the United States to avoid war crimes trials. It was also an endeavor that brought her forgiveness for her father. Astro Turf has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "I was blown away by this book."