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Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier [Paperback]

by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Avis Lang
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 25, 2013 0393343626 978-0393343625 1

“A compelling appeal, at just the right time, for continuing to look up.”—Air & Space

America’s space program is at a turning point. After decades of global primacy, NASA has ended the space-shuttle program, cutting off its access to space. No astronauts will be launched in an American craft, from American soil, until the 2020s, and NASA may soon find itself eclipsed by other countries’ space programs.

With his signature wit and thought-provoking insights, Neil deGrasse Tyson—one of our foremost thinkers on all things space—illuminates the past, present, and future of space exploration and brilliantly reminds us why NASA matters now as much as ever. As Tyson reveals, exploring the space frontier can profoundly enrich many aspects of our daily lives, from education systems and the economy to national security and morale. For America to maintain its status as a global leader and a technological innovator, he explains, we must regain our enthusiasm and curiosity about what lies beyond our world.

Provocative, humorous, and wonderfully readable, Space Chronicles represents the best of Tyson’s recent commentary, including a must-read prologue on NASA and partisan politics. Reflecting on topics that range from scientific literacy to space-travel missteps, Tyson gives us an urgent, clear-eyed, and ultimately inspiring vision for the future.


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A mass-media force in science explication, Tyson appears in print (Parade, New York Times, Natural History), on television (The Colbert Report, PBS programs), in social networks like Twitter, and at podiums to deliver speeches. Taken from those forums, his declamations during the past 15 years on NASA and American space policy are gathered in this volume. Enthusiastic about the space program but worried by its current doldrums, Tyson speaks squarely to an audience that might question its expense. Repeatedly batting away the complaint that social problems don’t justify spending money on space, Tyson perseveres by citing NASA’s miniscule share of the federal budget, pointing to technological spin-offs, and invoking planetary defense against rogue asteroids. Perhaps sensing popular indifference to such arguments, Tyson more generally tries to revive wonder about space in his pieces, taking up in how-cool-is-that manner such things as Lagrange points and plucky little spacecraft like Pioneer 10 and the Mars rovers. A genial advocate for the space program, Tyson offers diagnoses of its malaise that will resonate with its supporters. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A genial advocate for the space program, Tyson offers diagnoses of its malaise that will resonate with its supporters.” (Booklist)

“An enthusiastic, persuasive case to start probing outer space again.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393343626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393343625
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 3.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
On October 4, 1957, the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched into orbit. This technological first marked the beginning of a new era of competition between the former Soviet Union and the United States. While on the surface the Space Race might have appeared to be spurred on by man's desire for knowledge and exploration, in truth, the only thing that made man's footprints on the Moon possible was the looming Cold War and aspiration to assert technological dominance over each other. Adjusted for inflation, the Apollo program today would cost over 200 billion dollars, twenty times the yearly budget of NASA. It is unlikely any of us alive today will ever see man step foot on the Moon or another planetary surface, or see the equivalent of what millions of people witnessed on July 20, 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. The overwhelming costs, technological hurdles, and political backdrop are what make the Space Race such a fascinating subject, and it would be hard to find someone who is so passionate about it or conveys these ideas better than astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Like his last novel Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, Space Chronicles is a compilation of previously-published articles and talks over the last fifteen years, with a central theme of the Space Race and exploration (although some of the chapters don't really fit this theme entirely). It is mostly centered on the United States' involvement with a look at the development of NASA. It contains an original prologue by Dr. Tyson with a discussion on Space Politics, with a focus on the last three presidential administrations. A selection of Dr.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Space Chronicles: Facing The Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson

"Space Chronicles" is the inspirational plea of why NASA matters to America and what space exploration means to our species. Renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson dissects the politics of space and also enlightens the reader of the sense of awe that comes from space exploration and discovery. This book selections represent commentary, interviews, thought-provoking quotes reflecting a spectrum of fascinating topics from one of our icons of science. I share the love and awe of science that radiates from Mr. Tyson; this book arouses such emotions in witty, lucid fashion while stressing the importance of America retaining its global leadership in space.

This 384-page book is composed of thirty-six chapters and broken it in three Parts: Part I. Why, Part II. How, and Part III. Why Not. The first part of the book (Why) has to do with why we want to explore space. It appeals to emotions and wonder and the politics involved. The second part of the book (How), is of more practical science. The last third of the book (Why Not) wraps everything together and is the most passionate.

Positives:
1. A passionate, engaging prose that reflects the love of science of Dr. Tyson.
2. Fascinating topic in the hands of an icon of astrophysics.
3. Witty and humorous tone.
4. Profound without being unintelligible. An accessible book for the masses.
5. The politics involved. The author stresses the need to eliminate partisan politics.
6. Sixty-seven space tweets interspersed throughout the book. A clever way of injecting topical space wisdom.
7. The allure of space evidence by the most popular museum of the world, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
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57 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awkward, repetitive. April 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, let me say that there are few supporters of Dr. Tyson and his work who are more enthusiastic than I. I esteem him as probably the most important public educator in the United States. He is impossible to dislike, and his acumen for his chosen profession is dazzling.

That is why I have to give this book a poor review. It does transparent disservice to Dr. Tyson's glittering legacy. It is hopelessly disjointed, with no discoverable rationale behind its organization. "Tweets," interviews, lectures, and previously published articles are cobbled together higgledy-piggledy in what bears disheartening resemblance to something rushed to press for the sole purpose of drumming up desperately-needed revenue. I do not begrudge Tyson for avoiding an overly-nuanced exploration of astrophysics' bleeding edge; I just feel that the facts in this book could be condensed, and condensed more (much, MUCH more) elegantly.

My passion for Dr. Tyson and his work is in no way dimmed, and I have no trouble accepting that even the most brilliant minds can encounter difficulty when navigating the course of transferring information from the realm of the highly technical to that of the popularly appealing. Indeed, Tyson's prose is more often engaging than not--he just needs a better editor who will help us avoid having to roll our eyes at a factoid that was compelling in chapter 1, but is just downright annoying when it is announced to us (for the 10th or 12th time) in chapter 30 as though hot off the presses.

I await Tyson's next effort. In the meantime, however, I cannot endorse this effort in any capacity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Space Chronicles
Tyson is one of the most interesting scientists out there. He is making learning fun. I love his fact-based debunking to the naysayers who would have us move back to the time... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Wilton Girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Product
Despite the reviews about how repetitive this book is, I bought it as a present for my fellow Neil deGrasse Tyson lover and boyfriend. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Misty
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil is the Greatest
Interesting and thorough with comic relief for difficult subject matter. Very readable for people from their teens and up. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Eileen Engber
5.0 out of 5 stars We need to spend more on wonderment of knowledge.
Wonderful read but get ready to feel that we as a nation are going backwards when it comes to space exploration and the technologies it should be bringing. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Michael Jeffery
5.0 out of 5 stars The politics of space and beyond
Great book by Dr. Tyson. He has a subtle humor that makes reading this subject even more fun! Highly recommended
Published 22 days ago by Joseph Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally worth the buy. Tyson is brilliant, and a great writer.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the best, and Space Chronicles is a fantastic read! Plenty of history, well blended with Tyson's unstoppable passion for space technology and exploration. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Max E. Perko
5.0 out of 5 stars My First Step Into the World of Astrophysics
I thought this was a great book. I look forward to reading more of his and any other books I can on physics and astrophysics. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Autumn Richardson
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit boring
I'm a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson so I was happy to pay the very high price for the book but it's not that great of a read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nicole Long
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
he next Carl Sagan. Do you self a favor and buy this book! You will not be able to put it down!
Published 1 month ago by Jim Vaughn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great product , just what was needed it is for my gran daughter suggested reading for her finals in school .
Published 1 month ago by ray chewning
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