Cool, classy, articulate, and brilliant--rarely do all of those adjectives apply at once to an astrophysicist.
But Neil de Grasse Tyson is no ordinary scientist; as the director of New York City's Hayden planetarium, his job is to inspire the public with the beauty and grandeur of the universe, just as he was inspired there in his youth.
The Sky Is Not the Limit is his memoir of the events leading from his birth to his acceptance of his dream job and beyond, and is a marvelously entertaining look at one man's pursuit of his life's calling.
Tyson emphasizes the nurturing roles played by his parents, friends, and teachers, in contrast to the sometimes well-meaning but always disappointing discouragement he experienced from all sides in his quest for his Ph.D.
Of course, it's still shamefully difficult for a black American scientist to merit the same quality of attention as his or her peers, and Tyson's insights into the subtle but still-pervasive racism in academia are enlightening.
His description of his own shock at seeing himself on television--a black man sought as an expert on something other than being black--is powerfully moving.
But, as with his other books, like the gorgeous One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos, the quest for knowledge is more important than the obstacles, and his spirit, determination, and sense of humor prove that the sky really isn't the limit.
For more information about the title The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, read the full description at Amazon.com, or see the following related books:
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