The Right Stuff -Interviews with Icons of The 1970´s&1980´s By James M. Clash

There´s no doubt in my case that it was books which made me choose this odd life and I really need to be surrounded by books to feel really content with life. For this reason I have written two articles about books I recommend:

1. 10 best books about adventure and travel to read over Christmas

2. 5 most complete travel books ever

Lately I have been given a lot of opportunities to review other people´s books and I have said no, because the books were just not interesting enough. I don´t want to waste my time reading nonsense. However, this last month I have received two really good books, so I have decided to do just that, starting as of August 2011 to review interesting and challenging books.  (So, please, if you have a book you want reviewed, please send it to me.)

The Right Stuff

-Interviews With Icons Of The 1970´s & 1980´s-


James M. Clash

(Ask Men)


I spent the whole day editing, I returned home exhausted, cooked for the kids, but I was really, really tired and I tried to take a nap.  But I knew I had Jim Clash´s new book, The Right Stuff – Interviews with icons of 1970´s&1980´s to review and I remembered how much I enjoyed his previous book, about icons from the 1960´s, the era when I was born. So instead I brought the kids to bed early, I figured I could at least read one chapter, continue tomorrow morning and than started to read. 4 hours later I have read his thrilling book.

We are surrounded by so much negativity in the world today. The global media is focused only on the threat of terrorism, religious differences, unemployment, bankruptcy, well, one could easily believe the world is a terrible place with no hope at all, where all people are more or less evil. If we were to believe the mainstream media today. Especially the American one. Watching CNN makes me wanna become a hermit, not dealing with any people anymore and giving up. But after reading Jim´s book, I feel hope again, for the US, for the global media and I feel inspired to once again shoot out into the world and live!

Jim with the racing legend Mario Andretti

It is really a very inspiring and warm book. Jim is a great writer. It reads easy, its full of wisdom and explains that hard work, struggle, a vision is leading to basically a good fulfilling life. A lot of it has to do with Jim´s positive attitude, his enjoyment of life and wish to live to its fullest. he as much as the icons, inspiring the rest of us.

My only note of negative critique is that I hope Jim will write the same two books for an European audience as well! With predominantly European icons. Because even though the interviewees are all interesting, and Sir Jackie Stewart, the F 1 driver is in it, a few deals with issues purely understood and known to Americans. Like NASCAR for example. So, Jim, write those books as well!

And as in his first book, there´s such a variety of interviewees. There´s a Nobel prizewinner, a moon walker or two, a  couple of F1 driver, a hockey player and a big surprise for me, Dick Bass. How in earth did he get into the book? It´s not that he has done any world changing exploration is it? I have read his 7 summits book, but after reading the interview, I like him a lot and believe he certainly belonged in this excellent book. My two favorites, however, is Smoking joe Frazier. His road a bit tougher than the others, in my book. And Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space. She offers the best description I have ever heard about the feeling of being in space:

Just when you think you’ve picked the one most beautiful sight,

there is another. Like realizing that when you see a continent-size mass of

thunderstorms from above, there is never a moment there isn’t an electrical

discharge in that mass. It’s the illusion of being at one place on the ground

that makes you think lightning is intermittent. Or, on the day side, going over

parts of the Earth that you know. You can see a lot of detail with the bare eye. I

don’t know where the myth came from that you can only see the GreatWall of

China. You can see airports, dams, baseball stadiums — even the spot we had

launched from.

 The Right Stuff – Interviews with  icons of the 1970´s&1980´s- by James M Clash is a book which should be standard reading in all schools worldwide, for people contemplating a life of exploration and anyone out there who needs to get inspired and get a perspective of life. Not one of the characters interviewed regrets their choice of life.

Jim with Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter
Jim with Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter

James M. Clash earlier wrote this article about Charles Duke, which is one of the highlights of the book, read here!

James M. (Jim) Clash is a seasoned adventure and business journalistJim started at Forbes in 1993 as a reporter, and in 1996 was promoted to staff writer. In 1998 he wrote a pivotal story on hedge funds, warning investors of risks and expenses. When Long Term Capital Management collapsed six months later, Forbes ran a national advertising campaign “Business Reporting as Tough as Business Itself” about his story, and he was promoted to associate editor. His book “Forbes To the Limits” (Wiley, 2003) has received critical acclaim. In June 2012, Clash’s first eBook, The Right Stuff: Interviews with Icons of the 1960s was released. Jim, a fellow and director at The Explorers Club, has purchased a ticket to fly into suborbital space with Virgin Galactic Airways. His adventures include skiing to the South Pole; a MiG ride at Mach 2.6 to the edge of space; driving the Bugatti Veyron at its top speed of 253 mph; climbing the Matterhorn, 23,000-foot Aconcagua and virgin peaks in Greenland and Antarctica; and two visits to the North Pole. He has interviewed adventurers including Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, Sir Roger Bannister, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn and the late Sir Edmund Hillary.

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