"Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth"

Oct 9, 2015

Our guest on today's StudioTulsa is the Oregon-based author Craig Ryan, who tells us about his new book, just out from Liveright: "Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth." This biography offers readers, per a starred review in Kirkus, "[the] remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer.... [Ryan] uncovers the private man, Stapp's offbeat sense of humor, his awkward love life, his passion for classical music, and his friendships with daring test pilots Chuck Yeager and Joe Kittinger, fellow trailblazers whose fame has persisted. [This book is] a consistently fine appreciation of the medical maverick who, as much as any other, helped make the Space Age possible." And further, from a critic writing for The Washington Post: "Compelling and compulsively readableā€¦a curious but charming tale, the story of a man who courted danger -- and death -- in the ultimate pursuit of safety. 'Sonic Wind' is an engrossing read, and Ryan brings his unlikely hero to life, deftly describing Stapp's missionary zeal -- inherited, presumably, from his parents -- for safety."