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A girl's guide to missiles : growing up in America's secret desert / Karen Piper.

Available copies

  • 5 of 5 copies available at Sage Library System.

Current holds

0 current holds with 5 total copies.

Summary:

"A poignant, surreal, and fearlessly honest look at growing up on one of the most secretive weapons installations on earth, by a young woman who came of age with missiles. The China Lake missile range is located in a huge stretch of the Mojave Desert, about the size of the state of Delaware. It was created during the Second World War, and has always been shrouded in secrecy. But people who make missiles and other weapons are regular working people, with domestic routines and everyday dilemmas, and four of them were Karen Piper's parents, her sister, and--when she needed summer jobs--herself. Her dad designed the Sidewinder, which was ultimately used catastrophically in Vietnam. When her mom got tired of being a stay-at-home mom, she went to work on the Tomahawk. Once, when a missile nose needed to be taken offsite for final testing, her mother loaded it into the trunk of the family car, and set off down a Los Angeles freeway. Traffic was heavy, and so she stopped off at the mall, leaving the missile in the parking lot. Piper sketches in the belief systems -- from Amway's get-rich schemes to propaganda in The Rocketeer to evangelism, along with fears of a Lemurian takeover and Charles Manson -- that governed their lives. Her memoir is also a search for the truth of the past and what really brought her parents to China Lake with two young daughters, a story that reaches back to her father's World War II flights with contraband across Europe. Finally, it recounts the crossroads moment in a young woman's life when she finally found a way out of a culture of secrets and fear, and out of the desert." --from book jacket.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Circulation Modifier Age Hold Protection Active/Create Date Status Due Date
Baker County Library 358.17092 .P665g 2018 (Text) 37814003256618 NON-FICTION - NEW Book System_Only_3months 06/21/2021 Available -
Hood River Valley High School Library 921 PIP (Text) 33892006107578 NON-FICTION Book Branch_Only_3months 12/06/2018 Available -
Ontario Community Library 358.1 PIPER (Text) 33330004392157 Adult Non-Fiction Book None 01/16/2019 Available -
Pendleton Public Library 921 P661 (Text) 37801000614113 Adult Non-Fiction Book Branch_Only_3months 09/10/2018 Available -
The Dalles Wasco County Library 358.1 PIP (Text) 33892006394556 NEW BOOKS New/High Demand None 08/15/2018 Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780399564543
  • ISBN: 0399564543
  • Physical Description: x, 322 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 311-322).
Formatted Contents Note:
Becoming China Lakers -- A teenage weaponeer -- Dynamic instability -- The Cold War at home -- Anything can be a weapon -- Off target -- Life without weapons.
Summary, etc.:
"A poignant, surreal, and fearlessly honest look at growing up on one of the most secretive weapons installations on earth, by a young woman who came of age with missiles. The China Lake missile range is located in a huge stretch of the Mojave Desert, about the size of the state of Delaware. It was created during the Second World War, and has always been shrouded in secrecy. But people who make missiles and other weapons are regular working people, with domestic routines and everyday dilemmas, and four of them were Karen Piper's parents, her sister, and--when she needed summer jobs--herself. Her dad designed the Sidewinder, which was ultimately used catastrophically in Vietnam. When her mom got tired of being a stay-at-home mom, she went to work on the Tomahawk. Once, when a missile nose needed to be taken offsite for final testing, her mother loaded it into the trunk of the family car, and set off down a Los Angeles freeway. Traffic was heavy, and so she stopped off at the mall, leaving the missile in the parking lot. Piper sketches in the belief systems -- from Amway's get-rich schemes to propaganda in The Rocketeer to evangelism, along with fears of a Lemurian takeover and Charles Manson -- that governed their lives. Her memoir is also a search for the truth of the past and what really brought her parents to China Lake with two young daughters, a story that reaches back to her father's World War II flights with contraband across Europe. Finally, it recounts the crossroads moment in a young woman's life when she finally found a way out of a culture of secrets and fear, and out of the desert." --from book jacket.
Subject: Piper, Karen Lynnea, 1965-
Piper, Earl Marwin, 1922-2005.
Piper, Mary Dahlstrom.
Naval Ordnance Test Station (China Lake, Calif.) > Employees > Biography.
United States. Office of Strategic Services > Biography.
Guided missiles > United States > History > Anecdotes.
Electronic technicians > United States > Biography.
Young women > West (U.S.) > Biography.
Cold War.
California, Southern > Social life and customs > 20th century.
Genre: Autobiographies.
Anecdotes.

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