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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: #712,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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It's truly amazing, when you think about it.
Ned Gulley
By taking this approach Murray and Cox shift the history of Apollo to its most appropriate place.
Roger D. Launius
If I could give six stars to a book, i'd give the to this one.
Jet Jock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 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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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 2002
It is a crying shame that this wonderful book appears to be VERY out of print. It answers all the questions any technologically curious person would have about the design of the systems, the testing, how mission control worked, what all those acronyms really mean, the geeky geniuses and tough managers that made the program succeed. it covers the surprising numbers of "glitches" that made every mission more dramatic than news reports led viewers to believe.
Could it be that author Murray followed up this gem with the controversial The Bell Curve, and the publishing establishment is reluctant to see him prosper? Or is there a less nefarious explanation?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
This is the best book I have ever read on the Apollo program. Written from the unique perspective of the engineering effort of Apollo, it offers a wonderful view into what it's like to have such a lofty, seemingly unattainable challenge laid before you and then accomplish it. As another reviewer mentions, this is a great book for ideas about how to manage large engineering projects. I ocassionally reread the book when I want to revive and reinvigorate my thinking on these types of issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1999
A comprehensive look at the whole of the Apollo program is given in "Apollo: the Race to the Moon". As well as the flights and the astronauts, this book also looks at the technology involved - the crawler and its special roadway, the exacting requirements for the lauchpad ("Stage Zero") to stand a Saturn launch, the problems in developing the F1 engines that powered the Saturn first stage, the power and magnificence or a Saturn launch.
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