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116 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0976000808
ISBN-10: 0976000806
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Editorial Reviews


"Heart-gripping.... So brilliantly told one can almost smell the perspiration in Houston Mission Control." -- Charles Petit, San Francisco Chronicle, July 9, 1989

"Marvelous.... Captures the mood and spirit of the people who found a way to the moon. -- Michael Collins, The New York Times Book Review, July 16, 1989

"Rich, densely packed and beautifully told.... Filled with cliffhangers, suspense and spine-tingling adventure." -- Charles Sheffield, Washington Post Book World, July 9 1989

About the Author

Charles Murray, author of _Losing Ground_ and coauthor of _The Bell Curve_, was educated at Harvard and M.I.T. Catherine Bly Cox, an expert on Henry James, was educated at Oxford and Yale. Husband and wife, they share a long-standing fascination with the exploration of space that led them to write _Apollo_.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: South Mountain Books (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976000806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976000808
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Charles Murray is a political scientist, author, and libertarian. He first came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of "Losing Ground," which has been credited as the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. His 1994 New York Times bestseller, "The Bell Curve" (Free Press, 1994), coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, sparked heated controversy for its analysis of the role of IQ in shaping America's class structure. Murray's other books include "What It Means to Be a Libertarian" (1997), "Human Accomplishment" (2003), "In Our Hands" (2006), and "Real Education" (2008). His 2012 book, "Coming Apart" (Crown Forum, 2012), describes an unprecedented divergence in American classes over the last half century. His most recent book is "By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission" (Crown Forum, 2015).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on January 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the best general account of the lunar program, this history uses interviews and documents to reconstruct the stories of the people who participated in Apollo. Although published in 1989 and long out of print, "Apollo: The Race to the Moon" stands out as the best popular book on the subject ever to appear. Neither a warmed over account of the astronauts and their adventures on the Moon nor a large-format illustrated history--both of which are in abundance--this book seeks to understand the larger contact of Apollo by focusing on the massive technical and scientific infrastructure that made the trips to the Moon possible. Taking as its central characters not the astronauts but the managers and engineers who ran the program, this book by famed author and political lightning rod Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox is based extensively on interviews with the remaining actors of the endeavor. The authors spent considerable time talking to NASA officials, both active and retired, at the Johnson Space Center, the Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Kennedy Space Centers, as well as high level officials in Washington. In this book Murray and Cox reconstruct a non-scholarly account of Apollo that examines operational details of the program that have gone undiscussed in astronaut-centric works.

By taking this approach Murray and Cox shift the history of Apollo to its most appropriate place. They recognize that the feat, as impressive as it was and as heroic as the astronauts truly were, was essentially an accomplishment of systems management.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By givbatam3 on February 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has more than a passing interest in the space program, particularly manned spaceflight, will find this book invaluable. Here is the story of the people who made Apollo and the technological challenges they faced, both on the ground and in flight. Many books focus on the astronauts and their accomplishments, but this book focuses on those who designed the spacecraft, the rockets that propelled them into space, the launch facilities at Cape Canaveral and those who controlled the flight from the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

For example, their are fascinating stories about the ultimate spacecraft

designer Max Faget, who designed every American spacecraft from Mercury to the Space Shuttle; the story of how an obscure engineer named John Houbolt managed to convince NASA to use the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous mode for landing on the moon against formidable opposition from already legendary figures like Faget and Wernher Von Braun; the nightmarish combustion instability problem that plagued the immense F-1 rocket engine (five of which powered the Saturn V moon rocket's first stage); the development

of the huge transporter/crawler (and its "golden slippers") that transported the already assembled rocket out to Launch Complex 39 and the building of the gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building where the assembly took place with the use of immense cranes that could set down a multi-ton

rocket state onto an egg without breaking it.

What is especially noteworthy in this book is the description of how

the legendary Christopher Kraft built the flight control system that ultimately became Mission Control at the Manned Spacecraft Center.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Brown on April 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I too and glad that this book is finally back in print. This is not an overview of Project Apollo with astronaut stories and illustrations, for that you should look for the beautiful 3 volume illlustrated edition of Andrew Chaikin's A Man on the Moon. This book focuses almost exclusively on the vital contribution of the engineers and flight controllers and takes us into a world which usually is given short shrift. The missions are portrayed from within mission control itself and presents a superb sense of how the people involved thought and dealt with the problems. Top notch writing, that is accessible, but doesn't dumb things down.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Spoken4 on March 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am so glad this is back in print as my copy is falling apart from the number of times I have read it.

The approach taken by the authors of emphasising the "behind the scenes" rather than from the astronauts point of view is extremely enlightening. The massive effort behind the program to put a man on the moon is spelled out with just the right amount of detail and is extremely entertaining and easy to read. I came away with a whole new interpretation of the phrase "Well they can put a man on the moon, why can't they...."

The methods, personalities and organisation detailed in the book is a beautiful study of how to carry out the most challenging undertaking of the 20th Century.

If you are interested in space travel or manned space history, then you MUST READ THIS BOOK for the complete story!

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Clow on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
The perfect counterpart to Chaikin's book, and an indispensable history of the administrators and decision-makers who made the space program one of our nation's greatest successes. In this day when the word "bureaucrat" is intended as a slur and when government withdraws from the big scientific challenges, it can do us all good to remember the era when the bureaucrats were honest heroes and government dared to reach for the stars. Murray and Cox do justice to everyone from James Webb to the guys in the "trench" in Houston. An invaluable book for any serious Apollo enthusiast.
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