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Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon Hardcover – May 20, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: A Tehabi book
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1 edition (May 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151009643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151009640
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 10.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,817,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend Apollo as an inspiring book for anyone who has even a moderate interest in space.
Reynolds knows how to balance the need for imparting technical detail in a topic as big as this one with the need to tell a good story.
Michael Ryan
Not much new information here, but a beautiful coffee table book with stunning photos and schematics.
Kevin Barnett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Barbicane on May 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I just received an advance copy of "Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon" by David Reynolds (Tehabi Books, San Diego). It's really, by far, one of the most spectacular visual histories of the Apollo program I've ever seen. 272 pp, hundreds of full-color illustrations, including several fold-out pages (such as a four-page fold-out cutaway of the Saturn V), and an authoritative text, the book is a gorgeous package. Unlike most other histories of the program, "Apollo" discusses the lunar landings within the larger social and scientific context. In fact, the first 100 pages are devoted to the events that led up to Apollo, including a beautifully illustrated history of rocketry and space exploration (featuring 6 pages on the Collier's series, with full-color Bonestell art, and the Disney TV space shows). There is a section on the origins and geology of the moon--with great specially-commissioned diagrams--and several pages about the Soviet moon program.
All in all a spectacular volume that I cannot recommend too highly.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "jackbobo" on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The quest to reach the moon was indeed an epic journey involving, as I learned, hundreds of thousands of men and women to make the dream a reality. As a person not previously acquainted with the lengthy cast of characters responsible for taking this idea from drawing board to reality, I nevertheless found this account to be readily accessible and extremely engaging. The author has clearly taken pains to distill volumes of research down to a flowing narrative that reveals insights into the lives of those behind the scenes, as well as the astronauts themselves, who worked tirelessly to achieve their goal of landing a man on the moon. The beautiful illustrations and breathtaking photographs will not be lost on anyone, but do not overlook the useful descriptions of scientific hardware relayed in laymans terms, which are, thankfully, free of scientific lingo that only an engineer could love, or at least understand. I found particularly interesting the final section of the book, which describes planned future missions of the Apollo program that never came to pass. While the public in the 1970s may have lost interest in such missions, the public in the 21st century can only look back with envy. The fascinating explorations that would have been so easy to undertake decades ago, today seem impossible to imagine for decades to come. Thanks to this book, however, the reader can relive for a time the sense of wonder and excitement that surrounded this epic journey. We can only hope that one day we can continue the voyage of discovery where the previous generation left off.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Delta Sigma on December 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I worked as an engineer on the Gemini and Apollo projects, with McDonnell in St. Louis and at the Cape, working for Boeing. I am an avid reader of space history, and feel qualified to comment.

I would therefore like to point out a few errors and discrepancies in the book which I found to be very irritating:

Pg. 63: (caption) The rocket identified is the facilities test vehicle, AS-500F, not AS-504.

Pg. 69: There is no such thing as "fuel cell batteries"; they were either fuel cells OR

(caption) The official crew designation was Lunar Module Pilot (LMP), not Lunar Module Co-pilot (even on flights where there was no LM).

Pg. 79: (caption) As evidenced by the high sun angle, this photo was taken several hours after sunrise.

Pg. 82: I don't think the rocket's tanks were at a very high pressure; that was the purpose
of the fuel and oxidizer pumps.

The diameter of the "internal brain" (and the S-IVB third stage) was 22 feet, not

Pg. 89: Identifying captions for the liquid hydrogen lines and the oxygen tank are

Pg. 92: AS-501 was the rocket for Apollo 4, not AS-504 (2 places)

Pg. 94: The diameter of the first and second stages was 33 feet, not 36.

The CSM was built in California, not Washington

The actual term used was "turning basin", not "turn basin".

The CSM and LM were trucked from the landing strip to the MSOB, not the
VAB. See photo on pg. 116.

Pg. 95: The actual term used was "turning basin", not "turn basin".

Pg. 96: There were only 3 active firing rooms in the LCC during Apollo, not 4.

The actual term used was "turning basin", not "turn basin".

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Frieling on June 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
[UPDATE as of Dec 2, 2002: I just noted in another review of this book that the journal Choice named this book as one its Outstanding Academic Titles of the Year for 2002. As a practicing librarian who reviewed space history titles for seventeen years, I find it regrettable that a book as riddled with as many errors as this one should receive such an award from such a prestigious journal. I can only hope that the publisher furnish an errata sheet to the libraries holding this title.]
Reynolds's Apollo book is beautifully printed to be sure (I'm especially fond of the double gatefold rendering of the venerable Saturn V) and his enthusiasm for his subject clearly shows. Unfortunately, this same enthusiasm apparently stands in the way of his getting many of the facts straight--a vitally important task for any book purporting to provide the reader with an accurate history of any subject.
There are numerous misidentifications and inaccuracies in the captions and the text; e.g., there is a particularly irritating series of mis-identifications of the Saturn 500-F Facilities Test Vehicle--a non-flight mockup--which he confuses with other Saturn launch vehicles. Beginning on page 63, it is mis- identified as AS-504 (which was actually Apollo 9's launch vehicle), then on page 92 AS-504 it is referred to as Apollo 4, when that mission's Saturn V was actually AS-501. On page 86, he finally gets it right and identifies 500-F correctly. And, for what it's worth, the first Saturn V was launched in 1967, not 1968 (page 253). Needlessly irritating all around.
Similarly on page 94, Reynolds states that the Super Guppy air transport plane landed Saturn S-IVB stages on an airstrip "near the Vehicle Assembly Building".
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More About the Author

David West Reynolds is the author of several books, including #1 New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Episode I, The Visual Dictionary. He holds a doctorate in classical archaeology from the University of Michigan. An expert in space exploration, Reynolds is directing a project with a group of lunar and astrophysical scientists to recover image data from a little-known 1973 Soviet moon landing. He lives in Marin County, California.