N.p. S.i., 1983. Final typescript of Wolfe's foreword to the 1983 edition of The Right Stuff (first published in 1979), issued to coincide with the theatrical release of Philip Kaufman's film adaptation, starring Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Quaid, and Sam Shepard. In his foreword, Wolfe articulates why he was compelled to embark on the project in the first place: "This book originated with some ordinary curiosity on my part. What is it, I wondered, that makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan, or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse? I decided on the simplest approach possible. I would ask a few astronauts and find out...The Right Stuff became the story of why men were willing---willing?---delighted!---to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero." The book was, and remains, one of the cornerstone works on the subject of spaceflight; a significant working draft of the only new writing Wolfe had done on The Right Stuff since its initial publication in 1979. Item #4548
Draft typescript (4,713 words) on six leaves of white bond, measuring 8.5" x 11". Heavily revised, with the author's holograph notations and corrections throughout in black ink, along with 22 notes by a copyeditor in red pencil. Signed "tw" in type, with "T.W. / August 1983" on terminal leaf. Two old folds smoothed-out, with three leaves scribbed (likely by a child) in pencil, black pen, and red crayon on verso; well-preserved, housed in a custom half-morocco slipcase and chemise.