From Library Journal
Among the many books written on the history of the Apollo program, this one, by classical archaeologist Reynolds, stands out. The author of six previous books, including Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, Reynolds looks back on the history of Apollo from the perspective of the 21st century. NASA, despite its success, was not the flawless government agency many believed it to be, and the lunar astronauts themselves were not simply one-dimensional heroes but complex human beings with failings. Nevertheless, America won the race to the moon, and this book re-creates the drama the whole world experienced over 30 years ago. The well-written text is accompanied by numerous photos and drawings much more so than most other works on Apollo history. The author's explanations of complex technological matters are easy to understand, and readers will appreciate the small details he recounts, such as how astronauts repaired a fender on the lunar rover with duct tape. Recommended for all libraries. Jeffrey Beall, Univ. of Colorado Lib., Denver
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
This title is definitely one of the best books written about Apollo in recent years. An exuberantly visual treatment of the Saturn/Apollo combination and its specific missions, the work also rues the fact that the Apollo program was rushed to meet JFK's deadline, and didn't fully realize the dreams of Werner von Braun and other 1950s space dreamers whose visions were captured in the paintings of Chesley Bonestell. These form several of a train of full-page sidebars that dominate this book, a design element that invites browsing. Almost every major component of the Apollo complex is displayed, from the ground installations, to the titanic first stage, up to the moonwalker's spacesuit. Standing out among these layouts are those devoted to the most daring and scientifically significant missions, Apollo 15 and 17. Using a panoramic photographic mosaic of those two landing sites amid mountains, Reynolds forcefully impresses the otherworldliness of the moon. In the windup, Reynolds shows von Braun's plan and illustrations for scaling up Apollo into a space station, moon bases, and expeditions to Mars. Instead, following the Skylab interlude, Apollo was turned over to scrap dealers and museum curators. Reynolds' work will attract throngs of readers. Gilbert Taylor
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