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Light This Candle

The Life and Times of Alan Shepard

Neal Thompson

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

lan Shepard was the brashest, cockiest, and most flamboyant of America’s original Mercury Seven, but he was also regarded as the best. Intense, colorful, and dramatic—the man who hit a golf ball on the moon—he was among the most private of America’s public figures and, until his death in 1998, he guarded the story of his life zealously.

Light This Candle, based on Neal Thompson’s exclusive access to private papers and interviews with Shepard’s family and closest friends—including John Glenn, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper—offers a riveting, action-packed account of Shepard’s life. Among the first men to fly off aircraft carriers, he was one of the most fearless test pilots. He endured long separations from his devoted wife and three daughters to fly dangerous missions, working his way up the ranks despite clashes with authority over his brazen flying maneuvers and penchant for risky pranks. Hugely competitive, he beat out John Glenn for the first Mercury spaceflight and then overcame a rare illness to return to space again on Apollo 14.

He took every challenge head-on and seemed to win every time.

Long overdue, Light This Candle is a candid and inspiring account of a bold American life.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 12, 2004 – The 15-minute Freedom 7 flight in 1961 made astronaut Alan Shepard America's first man in space and its first hero of the space age. Later he made history by playing golf on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission. But journalist Thompson reveals another side of this all-American navy pilot with the right stuff. Although married for more than 50 years, Shepard had an eye for the prettiest girl in a room. Even longtime colleagues found him a hard man to get to know. The "Icy Commander" could be charming and helpful one minute, steely-eyed and "reaming them out" the next. Thompson traces Shepard's life from a New Hampshire childhood, when he was captivated with flying, to a lackluster career at Annapolis, where he frequently bent the rules, then his goal of becoming a jet pilot. Thompson shines a light on the very private Shepard's career between his Mercury and Apollo days, when he was earthbound by Menière's disease, which affected his equilibrium. In retirement, Shepard amazed everyone (except probably his devoted wife, Louise) by energetically embracing philanthropic causes before succumbing to leukemia at age 74. Thompson doesn't reveal much that die-hard space junkies don't already know about Shepard's often contentious relationship with his Mercury 7 colleagues, especially John Glenn, but his is a snappily written, factual counterbalance to Tom Wolfe's sometimes poetic renderings of the heroes of the early space program. Space buffs and baby boomers who remember Shepard's gravity-escaping flight should snap it up. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Light This Candle
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Mar 23, 2004
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 576 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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