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In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969 Hardcover – Illustrated, Sept. 1 2007
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Drawing on interviews with astronauts, cosmonauts, their families, technicians, and scientists, as well as rarely seen Soviet and American government documents, the authors craft a remarkable story of the golden age of spaceflight as both an intimate human experience and a rollicking global adventure. From the Gemini flights to the Soyuz space program to the earliest Apollo missions, including the legendary first moon landing, their book draws a richly detailed picture of the space race as an endeavor equally endowed with personal meaning and political significance.
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"Authors Burgess and French are even-handed and equitable, and have done an excellent job in covering a vast expanse of material. . . . The opportunity to get the true stories from the astronauts themselves is a luxury that will sadly not be available forever, and In the Shadow of the Moon has done an excellent job in gathering and eliciting the stories of these men, not just the 'official reports,' but the personal touches that render them more human. . . . The authors have a touch for weaving revealing and captivating personal narratives amidst the nuts-and-bolts space history."—Michael Patrick Brady, PopMatters.com
“French and Burgess present a first-rate, detailed, and very personal account of the space race to the moon . . . . Strongly recommended both as a study of the social interactions among this unique group of people and as a gripping series of anecdotes that describe the exciting, dangerous steps behind the successful moon landing.”—CHOICE
"This book has everything you ever wanted to know about the astronauts that paved the way for the first Moon landing. Rarely does one get the entire information of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programmes, encased in one book, about the men who entered the dangerous and untried realm of flying off the Earth."—Jeff Green, Liftoff
- ASIN : 0803211287
- Publisher : University of Nebraska Press (Sept. 1 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780803211285
- ISBN-13 : 978-0803211285
- Item weight : 821 g
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 2.54 x 23.5 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Canada
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Anybody who is interested in the Apollo program will discover so much information's. Each flight is explained in great details and each crew life and selection to the astronaut program, training, knowledge and character provided to us is so valuable to understand the complexity of this program.
There is also a very interesting view of the political side of NASA and how crew were mixed together for specific reasons.
A must read and probably the best book made about the Apollo program
What separates "In the Shadow of the Moon" from many other books on the space programme is that it focuses on the men and women who made it all possible. This is a people's history of space and examines that magnificent race from the perspective of those who lived it and did it: whether running the programmes or riding the rockets. Through their genuine interest in the subject matter, Burgess and French won the trust of the astronauts, cosmonauts and the lesser-known or forgotten space pioneers who toiled behind the scenes. The reward for their dedication and sincerity were stories that in many cases have never been told before and provide a fresh perspective on the early days of spaceflight. The end result is a book that ranks amongst the very best written on the subject.
Not only does this book provide a most welcome perspective on a truly remarkable endeavour, but it is also extremely well written and thoroughly readable. This book transports you to a time when the two great superpowers were competing for control of the ultimate high ground while the rest of the world watched in awe and perhaps bewilderment. It proves that while the men and women who rode these rockets were indeed the best, bravest and brightest of that or any other time, they were also mere humans with their own foibles, insecurities, peculiarities and curiosities.
If you want a truly human history of spaceflight, this book is among the very best available.
In particular, I thought the Gemini section was brilliant! Along with quite a few missing links from otherwise well-documented tales, what I really enjoyed were the unique and exclusive comments from some of the astronauts who flew the missions, especially those of Stafford and Cernan. This not only lends credibility to the book, but it also brings the reader to the "inside" of the stories.
I've always felt that Donn Eisele was sort of The Invisible Man on Apollo 7 because so little has been written about him. But now, I have a much more complete picture of his personality, his domestic challenges, his professional aptitude, etc. Donn's a complete member of the crew in my mind now! I thought Walt Cunningham's comments were extremely helpful by providing the reader with an insider's view of key events surrounding the Apollo 7 mission.
This book really goes a long way in quenching the thirst for those of us who are "space literate", but I can see where it would fun to read and informative for those who wouldn't know Neil Armstrong from Lance Armstrong.
Lastly, the authors never let us forget that there were real human beings flying in those spacecraft; not robots programed to perform their tasks until their batteries died. To me, that is probably one of the key things that makes this book special.
This book transcends a third-party recounting of events. French and Burgess have created an extraordinary interface between the reader and the people sharing their stories. "In the Shadow of the Moon" does an exquisite job of bringing us into the fold, allowing a rather personal access to these astronauts' lives and innermost thoughts: helping us to better understand an experience we will never have ourselves.
The authors' skillful marriage of informing and storytelling help to ensure that it is a book that will be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their interest level in space history. The authors did an excellent job of introducing background information on a mission, and then following it up with personal interpretation by someone who was there. The authors' thorough research is apparent, but it is woven so well with the narrative that it allows the reader to simply take it in, absorbing it effortlessly.
By writing this book, French and Burgess share with humanity that which few have experienced. But more than that, they help us all understand a little better the magnitude of our venture into space: the accomplishments of the few, holding meaning for us all.
Top reviews from other countries
Personal note, the Epilogue to this book is one of the most beautiful and touching pieces of writing I've ever had the pleasure to read. As with "Into that Silent Sea", highly recommended.