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Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants (Rutgers University Press Classics) Paperback – May 23, 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 973 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Read this book. You’ll find plenty about John and all the other sky-high crackpots who were in the field with him and you may even get (as I did) a glimpse of the heroic excitement that seemed to make it reasonable to cuddle with death every waking moment—to say nothing of learning a heck of a lot about the way in which the business of science is really conducted."  
-- Issac Asimov ― from the foreword

"This insider's account of the early years of rocketry captures the excitement of researching and developing technologies that lie outside the realm of computer science. While we're accustomed to think of technological progress in terms of Moore's law, in a few short years these engineers went from launching metal tubes small enough to hold in your hand to propelling a two ton metal capsule containing three humans all the way to the moon."
-- Inc. ― 9 Powerful Books Elon Musk Recommends

"A good book on rocket stuff...that's a really fun one." 
-- Elon Musk

"Ignition! is a hard-to-get-your-hands-on account of early rocket science...Clark was an American chemist active in the development of rocket fuels back in the 1960s and 1970s, and the book is both an account of the growth of the field and an explainer of how the science works."

 
Business Insider

"Ignition! is a history of liquid rocket propellants, but it's also a history of cold war and the space race, told from a particular point of view....That humor helps the accessibility, and as long as you remember some high school chemistry you shouldn't have a problem with the science either."
Ars Technica

"Ignition!, originally written in 1972, is back in print after a long hiatus. A classic book, it tells a rollicking story of an era when space was the frontier. An informative history, it reads like an adventure story."
Galveston County Daily News

About the Author

JOHN DRURY CLARK (1907 - 1988) was an American rocket fuel developer, chemist, and science fiction writer. In addition to his work as a scientist, he was instrumental in the broad revival of interest in Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories and an influence on the writing of Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp, Fletcher Pratt, and other sci-fi authors.

ISAAC ASIMOV (1920 - 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. A prolific writer, he published more than 500 books, most notably the science fiction novels I, Robot and Foundation, and the popular science works, Guide to Science and Understanding Physics.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rutgers University Press Classics; Reprint edition (May 23, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 302 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0813595835
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0813595832
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.19 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 973 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
973 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of feel like a sucker for getting the hardcover...
By S. Lee on May 24, 2018
I bought the hard cover edition thinking that for close to 100 dollars this is going to be a substantial book that can be display prominently on my bookshelf. I'm sure the content is excellent but boy was I wrong.

The book is 5"x8.5", honestly about the size of a paperback. The font is super tiny and I think many readers will not have a pleasant time reading this.

I mean, seriously, if you're going to charge A HUNDRED DOLLARS, at least make an attempt to make the book a little bigger and nicer. This is ridiculous.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Arboreal Cephalopod
5.0 out of 5 stars You know that stuff you sent me to test for thermal stability?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 18, 2019
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MJM
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, highly technical book by one of the people doing it - and surviving
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2019
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Raez Azman
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof the only people braver than the astronauts were the rocket fuel scientists
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 26, 2019
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Dr Stewart Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2019
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Nailgunner
5.0 out of 5 stars “... compounds that I wouldn’t even dare draw on paper without at least five martinis”
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2018
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