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John Glenn: A Memoir Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (November 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553526642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553526646
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,772,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

At a time when overwritten biographies arguably provide too much information about their subjects, astronaut-turned-politician-turned-astronaut John Glenn's breezy memoir is welcome. His life story is simply told, not terribly reflective but enormously compelling: an Ohio boy grows up to become the first American to orbit the earth, takes a shot at the presidency but misses, and triumphantly returns to outer space as a senior citizen and national hero. Following a section on his youth, Glenn describes being a fighter pilot in the Second World War and Korea (where he lived in the same Quonset hut as baseball legend Ted Williams), as well as a test pilot. The highlight of the book is Project Mercury, the early NASA effort that hurled Glenn 150 miles above the planet in a tiny capsule--"flying from one day into the next and back again." In less than five hours, Glenn observed three sunsets and sunrises. He also conducted a few basic experiments, such as "squeezing some applesauce from a toothpaste-like tube into my mouth to see if weightlessness interfered with swallowing. It didn't."

Upon his return to earth, Glenn made a few abortive runs for the Senate. He was finally elected in 1974 as a Democrat and served for 24 years. In 1984, he sought his party's presidential nomination, and it looked like he was the one candidate potentially capable of beating President Reagan. But he stumbled and had to quit. The final pages detail Glenn's 1998 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery at the age of 77. Just as his journeys riveted the nation, Glenn's memoir will grip its readers. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Could there be a more iconic American life than that of astronaut-turned-senator Glenn? The author's reading voice measured, plainspoken, imbued with honest conviction reinforces this sense of salt-of-the-earth patriotism. First, the listener hears of Glenn's halcyon Ohio childhood, how he married his childhood sweetheart and went off to fly for the navy in the World War II. It is only here, with Glenn's intricate technical descriptions of aircraft and heartfelt observations on the beauty of flight, that he comes across as really comfortable with himself. He goes on to tell of his hero days, first as a postwar test pilot, then as a solo astronaut in his famed Mercury capsule, "Friendship Seven." Though he has the grace of modesty in his descriptions, a genuine sense of the exhilaration of these times translates effectively. By contrast, Glenn's summation of his subsequent political career is admirable but unsurprising. It's only when he returns to space aboard a shuttle flight at age 77, and exuberantly radios to earth, "Zero-G, and I feel fine," that a feeling of his true spark returns. Based on the 1999 BDD hardcover. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed learning about his childhood, fighter pilot and test pilot days, astronaut career and political career.
Guy P. Harrison
Hard work, honesty, love, patriotism, sacrifice and dedication to do a job well, what more could you ask for in a story.
Arnold Veness
I highly recommend this book as "a good read," as a book about "science," and as a book about character and leadership.
Rex M. Rogers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is curious that as 2000 nears, so many memoir biographies have hit the stands...and so many worth reading. We have Glenn's story...astronaut turned politician, model American; Nabokov's story...scientist turned literary celebrity (Nabokov's Blues); Goodall's story...scientist turned reflective (Reason to Hope); Sagan...by Sagan AND by biographers. Glenn's memoir fits this mold...a man has taken time out not only to reflect but to share with his "fellow Americans" his insights on the last decades, indeed some of the most important events of the millenium. I recommend this book; its only drawback is it might be argued as less exciting than some of the others mentioned above. But John Glenn is a major public and historical figure and it is worth the time to digest here what he has to say about his life, and times.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hartriono Sastrowardoyo on November 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Senator. Astronaut. American Hero. These are all words that come to mind when the name "John Glenn" is mentioned. But how much do you know about John Glenn the person? If you want to know the minutiae of Glenn's flight as a Mercury and shuttle astronaut then this is not the book for you. For "John Glenn: A Memoir" is a walk down Glenn's busy road of life, from his upbringing during the Depression to his second spaceflight, aboard the shuttle in 1998. If it's true that Neil Armstrong said that everybody was given a finite number of heartbeats, and that he didn't want to waste any doing anything frivolous, then Glenn must have been one of his followers. The times and culture of those years helped shaped Glenn's beliefs and philosophies, just as Glenn helped shaped America during his military service, his days as an astronaut, and as a senator. More than just a recitation of names and events, Glenn presents an enlightening perspective on himself and of those events in the world that made him who he is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Veness on December 6, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
There is nothing more I love to share with my young son, than a bedtime story about a real American hero. I'm so happy that John Glenn took the time to write down and narrate his story for his grand kids. My young son now 23 months is enjoying his tapes as a bedtime story too. Hard work, honesty, love, patriotism, sacrifice and dedication to do a job well, what more could you ask for in a story. When John Glenn flew into space in Oct 1998 I couldn't wait to get my son the NASA Mission Patches from Mercury 7 and the Shuttle Flight for his jumpers. He wears them proudly today. I hope more astronauts take John Glenn's lead to tell their stories. They may or may not be big sellers but they are very important stories which a special group of people would love to hear.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Thomas on November 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The story of John Glenn's life is a very inspiring one, this memoir reminds us all in eloquent terms of the values of honesty, hard work, dedication, and love for one's family and country. I am proud to have this wonderful volume on my bookshelf, it is a fitting companion to the year's most inspiring books---Faith of My Fathers, The Greatest Generation, The Triumph and the Glory, and The Testament. Godspeed, John Glenn.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "versailles" on January 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read over 50 autobiographies/memoirs in the last several years and I have to say that this is one of the best that I have read, very well researched and organized. Anyone who is interested in the space program will find this book fascinating. On the other hand, the personal life of John Glenn, like his 50+ years marriage to his wife, is a love story (He met his wife in a playpen when they were toddlers). His courage and perseverance certainly contributed to his success. Two more autobiographies that I have read that share the same vision and determination to success are Georg Solti - A Memoir (world reowned conductor) and Salvatore Ferragamo - Shoemaker of dreams (Italian shoe designer). Both of these I considered them very well written and interesting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a very well written biography of an astronaut, war hero, public figure, and good family man. You'll be touched by how often Mr. Glenn mentions his wife and kids. His good character comes through very strong.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Seaver on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Based on this book John Glenn never got out of line, never got in any serious trouble or caused anyone else to get into trouble, had a perfect wife and family who always supported him 100%, even if it meant his being away from home for long periods of time. He even goes to the extreme of discounting a story about his concern over his height exceeding the max requirement for space travel. I found many parts of this book enjoyable, but left feeling I had only been reading a whitewashed version purified for mass consumption. On slight hint at the "real" John Glenn may be revealed in his writing a letter to NASA in an effort to overturn the decision to have Alan Shepard and Guss Grissom fly in space before him. This book left me with many more questions about the real man. Showing more of his human, occassionally risking and failing side would have added much to my enjoyment. Unfortunately this was missing.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jim Kirk on November 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really didn't know what to make of this book. I mean, one could argue that John Glenn has done some of the most exciting things that a person who lived in the past 100 years could do: He fought in two wars as a fighter pilot during the golden age of aviation and at the dawn of the jet age, he was the first american to orbit the earth, and he flew in space at the age of 77, in addition to being a multi-term senator from Ohio! But despite all of this his book was so dull I could not believe it! Somehow even his descriptions of combat were dull! I honestly did not know what to make of it all. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for him to get to the meat of the book and to inflect the writing with some verve... but it just never happened. As a die-hard space and aviation enthusiast, i would only reccommend this book to those interested in hearing some hithero undocumented anecdotes abot the Mercury program.
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