- File Size: 1552 KB
- Print Length: 512 pages
- Publisher: South Mountain Books (July 29, 2004)
- Publication Date: July 29, 2004
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003KN3Z4M
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Apollo Kindle Edition
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|Length: 512 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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About the Author
Charles Murray is the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He first came to national attention in 1984 with his book Losing Ground. His book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012 by the New York Times Book Review. His other books include In Pursuit, The Bell Curve (with Richard J. Herrnstein), What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands, and Real Education. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard and a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife in Burkittsville, Maryland.
Catherine Bly Cox is an expert on Henry James and was educated at Oxford and Yale.
Marvelous....Captures the mood and spirit of the people who found a way to the moon.-- "Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut, New York Times Book Review"<br ><br >
A dramatic, behind-the-scenes account of America's ten-year race to the moon. A highly satisfying tale, rich, densely packed and beautifully told.-- "Washington Post Book World"<br ><br >
Heart-gripping...So brilliantly told one can almost smell the perspiration in Houston Mission Control.--"San Francisco Chronicle"
An absorbing story.--"Publishers Weekly"
A fast-paced and perceptive look at the people behind one of the most daunting technological feats of the twentieth century...An inspiring and informative chronicle.--"Kirkus Reviews"
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geek I am on this subject, I have all the original Life Magazines chronicling this era of the space program as well.) There are indeed many great books on this subject but found this the most organized and complete one I have read. It's mostly from the point of view of the people that designed the stuff as well as the folks in the trench at mission control. So you get a unique perspective of many of the details and problems that were overcome by the shear ingenuity and sweat of those involved. I believe that this book is no longer in print so having access to this incredible book as a Kindle edition is real treat. This is an absolute MUST READ for anyone interested in this subject.
Reading this book makes you feel like one of the "Important Insiders" sitting at a console in Mission Control.
The book covers everything from the very beginnings of NASA, the initial shock of the people who had to make it work ("how on earth are we going to do this???") to the first lunar landing and beyond.
It has a lot of detailed information on many of the key people in America's space program such as Christopher Craft, Gene Kranz, Bob Seamans, Max Faget, Kurt Debus, Rocco Petrone, Caldwell Johnson, Robert Gilruth, George Low, John Houbolt, Sam Phillips, Joe Shea, Jim Webb, George Mueller, Cliff Charlesworth, Bill Tindall, Paul Castenholtz and of course Wernher von Braun and countless more.
Not only are the contributions and professional histories of these people documented, their personalities, idiosyncrasies, habits and behind the scenes antics are recorded. Not only do you learn what a person did, you also learn what it would be like to know them personally.
Amazing stories such as how one engineer (John Aaron) just happened to see a particular pattern in garbled data years before and was probably the only person on the planet who knew that saying "Flight, tell them to go SCE to AUX" would save the Apollo 12 mission after it had been hit by lightning during launch or how SimSup Dick Koos just happened to choose a simulator program containing the 1201 and 1202 program alarms for the very last simulator run and taught the flight controllers exactly how to handle it (they blew it in simulation, but got it right for real). Without that random chance simulation of an almost unknown error code, the Apollo 11 landing attempt may very well have been aborted.
This book is also obviously very well researched. I have yet to find a single technical error in it. Even the cause of the 1201 and 1202 program alarms (during Apollo 11's landing) is accurately documented (mismatched phase angles in spacecraft and radar power supplies, not "computer errors" as is so widely said).
Also, a test stand run of an engine that failed is correctly documented as "divergent combustion instability", not the "dust cover mistakenly left on a fuel line" baloney that's told to the general public.
If you want a lot of very interesting, accurate and richly detailed information about the development of the Apollo project and the people who made it happen, this book is for you.
If you want to feel as though you are sitting alongside Gene Kranz during the Apollo 11 landing or working with Paul Castenholtz at an engine test stand in the desert trying yet another combustion instability fix or standing alongside Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in the LM seeing the lunar surface approaching and feeling the tension of low fuel level lights illuminated, program alarms pausing the computer and less than 30 seconds left to land safely, this book is for you.
It's one of the best I've read on Apollo.
The book does not pretend to be an exhaustive history of the Apollo program. The events covered span from pre-NASA days, when rocket science was not even directly connected to ideas for space travel, through the planning stages of Apollo, all the way to the wistful, early end of the Apollo program. Thus, even fans of the Apollo program are likely to find new material in this book, or at least get an unfamiliar view of some well-known events.
In terms of style, the book feels much like a solid television documentary, with thoughtful narration peppered with colorful anecdotes directly from the people who made up Apollo, and occasional moments of laugh-out-loud humor, breathtaking tension, and tearful emotion. Despite the seeming focus on the engineering and the machines, the book tells a very human story, full of humility and bravado, despair and hope, tension and relief, regret and pride, conflict and resolution. Quotes are carefully attributed, and conflicting accounts clearly presented. The early chapters can be a little overwhelming as many individuals are presented (and it's hard to remember names and roles), but as the book goes on, you do recognize many of the key characters. By the end, I was left with the impression that every individual, named or not, who was directly or tangentially involved in the Apollo program left their mark on the development of spaceflight and human history. (As the authors acknowledge, some material had to be left out, but I do hope that a companion book or supplement might be released in electronic format someday.)
REGARDING THE EBOOK EDITION: This edition is thankfully free of the typos that plague many ebook editions. The authors' note states that footnotes from the print edition were integrated into the main text, removed, or edited to fit the ebook edition. So now the footnotes are presented within the text, using asterisks and brackets, and do not make use of the Kindle's jump-to-footnote function. Depending on your font size, the footnote might not appear until a page or two after the asterisk, but generally I did not find the footnotes to be a problem. The end of the book contains a few photos, which were small but clear in black-and-white on a Kindle Paperwhite.
Top international reviews
Some of the recent books I've read on Kindle have had formatting and spelling mistakes - seem that there was carelessness in developing the Kindle edition. This one is very clean.