Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon (Unabridged)
by Craig Nelson
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A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind. At 9:32 A.M. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. It carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the last frontier of human imagination: the moon. Rocket Men is the thrilling story of the moon mission, and it restores the mystery and majesty to an event that may have become too familiar for most people to realize what a stunning achievement it represented in planning, technology, and execution. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Craig Nelson re-creates a vivid and detailed account of the Apollo 11 mission. From the quotidian to the scientific to the magical, readers are taken right into the cockpit with Aldrin and Armstrong and behind the scenes at Mission Control. Rocket Men is the story of a 20th-century pilgrimage, a voyage into the unknown motivated by politics, faith, science, and wonder that changed the course of history.
outstanding single volume
an outstanding single volume history of the U.S. Manned Space effort, revealing many sideline which are not well covered in other books. There are a couple of better non-fiction treatments of the space program focusing on more specific events (Spunik, Von Braun, the Russian efforts and individual astronaut biographies), this does a very good job of dealing with the meaning anscope of project Apollo
For serious space nerds!
Craig Nelson does a fantastic job of detailing this historic journey by delving into the roots of rocketry, the Russians' space program and other contributing events. Sometimes these details can overwhelm even the most serious space nerds (like myself). Overall though, Nelson nails the story with several excellent tidbits and, fresh insights, and quite surprisingly, several laugh out loud moments from the astronaut's anecdotes. I was also pleased with the narrator, who was very easy to listen to and did not over perform.
The Audio is so OVERPROCESSED as to be extremely annoying. If you can get past that, the book is EXCELLENT. It puts Apollo 11 into the context of the entire space program and the world of politics. It tells many stories that have not been told before about the astronauts, their wives, and what happend after Apollo 11. I highly recommend it. However, be aware the the Audio is pretty annoying on an iPhone with headphones or plugged into a car stereo.