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Apollo: Race to the Moon Paperback – May 1, 1990


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Paperback, May 1, 1990
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Touchstone Books (May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067170625X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671706258
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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It's truly amazing, when you think about it.
Ned Gulley
This date is usually considered the inception of the Apollo program, one of the most ambitious and advanced engineering projects in history.
Dr. Bojan Tunguz
If I could give six stars to a book, i'd give the to this one.
Jet Jock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on May 10, 2004
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" still 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles Murray on November 20, 2004
Amazon is now selling the 2004 edition (which no longer has the subtitle "The Race to the Moon"). Search on "Apollo" for title and "Murray" or "Cox" for author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sean on October 19, 2004
There are also audio files, and lots of extra pictures not included in the book at their website, where you can also buy the book.

You can get more information at [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ned Gulley on March 27, 1998
This book is built around the very human stories of the engineers (not the astronauts; who cares about those damn astronauts?) who built a machine that took men to the moon and back. It's truly amazing, when you think about it. In less than eight years, they built a great big machine that took people to the surface of the moon and back. It's not often you get to see engineers portrayed as heros, but that's exactly what this book is all about. The authors, Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox, have a real flair for digging into the details that make the stories and the people come to life, underscoring this is how it really happened. All engineers should read this book; it's immensely entertaining, but it's also a real sourcebook of stories about how to get extraordinarily complex engineering projects done on time and on budget. Caldwell Johnson, one of the lead designers of the Apollo vehicle, sums it up well with a terrific engineering viewpoint: "After a while, you really become appalled that you've gotten yourself involved in the thing. At first, it's an academic exercise. And then the first thing you know, there's people building these things, and they are really getting ready to do it, and you start thinking: Have I made a real bad judgment somewhere, and the damn thing is just not going to work at all?" Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2011
On May 25 1961 President John Kennedy addressed Congress on his plan to put a man on the Moon within nine years. This date is usually considered the inception of the Apollo program, one of the most ambitious and advanced engineering projects in history. The idea for Apollo had already been conceived in the last year of the Eisenhower administration, but the main credit for pushing it into the shape that has become familiar to the World.

This book aims to describe the achievements of the Apollo program from the point of view of the engineers and other technological staff. Apollo is arguably the most ambitious engineering program in history, and the fact that it was so successfully carried out was tremendously inspirational for all of humanity. Achieving what was considered almost an unattainable goal just a few years earlier at such a rapid pace left everyone imagining that the decades ahead will usher an unprecedented human colonization of space. As we well know now, these were grossly unrealistic expectations, and have led many to be disillusioned with the human exploration of space. Others, on the other hand, have grown up taking lunar landing for granted in the light of subsequent shuttle missions, and don't appreciate the tremendous effort that went into the Apollo program. In the light of all of that, this book serves as a wonderful reminder of how difficult this whole endeavor was and how many tremendous feats of engineering had been accomplished along the way.

This book is not written with some overarching deep message in mind. The authors primarily concentrate on many invaluable individuals behind the Apollo program and try to explain in the most general terms the contributions that these remarkable men (and a very few women as it turns out) had made.
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