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

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Aired on Friday, October 9th.

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 readable…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."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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