American Moonshot

American Moonshot

John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Book - 2019
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As the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing approaches, the award winning historian and perennial New York Times bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy's inspiring challenge, and America's race to the moon. On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Drawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures who were key to America's success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life as never before. American Moonshot is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible, the technology that enabled us to propel men beyond earth's orbit to the moon and return them safely, and the geopolitical tensions that spurred Kennedy to commit himself fully to this audacious dream. Brinkley's ensemble cast of New Frontier characters include rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn and space booster Lyndon Johnson. A vivid and enthralling chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful, and turbulent eras in the nation's history, American Moonshot is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
ISBN: 9780062655066
006265506X
Branch Call Number: 629.4 Br
Description: xxv, 548 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm

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andybe3619
May 31, 2019

Brinkley gives the read great insight to the events, interdependencies, and politics of one of man's great achievements up until November 1963. The book is titled "American Moonshot" and subtitled "JFK and the Great Space Race". From a content point of view, these titles should have been swapped. The story goes on cruise control after Kennedy's assassination, and more or less becomes a recitation of key events.

To be fair, this would have been a 1000-page book if Brinkley kept the same pace throughout the rest of the '60s, but I did feel a little robbed. It's possible that the budget conflicts, the struggle for supremacy among the various military branches, etc., mostly abated after JFK - Brinkley suggests this at one point, but it felt more like a device to wrap the story up quickly.

I enjoyed American Moonshot, don't get me wrong. Perhaps it's saying something that I wanted it to continue...

g
gordengibson
Apr 30, 2019

This book not only describes the program to get a man on the moon, but characterizes the various people like Kennedy, Von Barun and LJB that played a part in the Moonshot program. This book is extremely easy to read, but is full of eye-catching information. I had a problem putting the book down. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to know the human side of the American Moonshot.

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