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The All-American Boys Hardcover – July, 2003

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cunningham's book is the best of all the astronaut books." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 439 pages
  • Publisher: ibooks; Updated edition (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743458494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743458498
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By L. Hobson on September 4, 2003
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Walter Cunningham is at it again, his first All American Boys book was a great hit and now the up dated edition with much added material. Any person interested in space and the lives of our astronauts will enjoy reading over and over again. The book will become a great collectors edition to any book collection on space and the men that risk their lives to go there. The book goes where no man has gone before, into the lives of our first astronauts and into the future of space travel. Walt tells a story of how it felt to be on the NASA team of astronauts and how the public and the press treated them. Walter Cunningham was as close as you can get to what was one of our first space program disasters being on the back up crew of Apollo 1. You can only wonder what it must have felt like for him to be on the back up crew of Apollo 1. What it must have felt like to be strapped into Apollo 7 with the memories of the men before him that gave their lives. Cunningham talks about this in the new edition along with the Challenger and Columbia disaster and where we go from here. This book is a must read book. Larry Hobson-Author "The Day Of The Rose"
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 8, 2003
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I have to admit that my favorite of the astronaut books is Mike Collins' "Carrying the Fire", but I think "The All-American Boys" has to be second. This book is essentially the personal observations and reflections from within the Gemini and (mostly) Apollo programs, and as an external bystander from the early days of the Shuttle until now. What I like about the book is Cunningham's candor, a trait he was always know for within the program, and willingness to discuss the less glamorous, and less appreciated aspects of an astronaut's life in the 1960s.
Generally this type of book is fairly sanitized, and results in a glossy, picture perfect view of the Apollo program and its participants. Here Cunningham tells the story without pulling any punches. He attempts to give everyone their due, but in the end if he has negative information to convey he doesn't shirk from it. Others may disagree with his opinions (I do in a few instances: for example, I think he is unduly hard on Armstrong and Scott for their handling of their Gemini thruster problem), but he makes it clear at the outset that these are his views, and not the official party line. Many come out better than their average perceptions in the public (mostly because so many of these names are now generally forgotten), guys like Bill Anders and Rusty Schweickart, who really did some of the early pioneering that allowed the Apollo 11 and subsequent successes. Certainly the depiction of Conrad and Bean is very sympathetic, and reinforces their good guy personas with more detail devoted to their contributions than they normally get. Many come out worse, in some cases much, much worse. Many (but not all) of the Mercury 7 come across as self important, pompous windbags. I was particularly annoyed by Wally Schirra during the Apollo 7 mission.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2003
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After reading Mr. Cunninghams book and working for NASA for a very long time, I understand where he's coming from. His book is right on, and then I read this persons review and see the reviewer hasn't got a clue to how NASA operates. Things were very different when Walt was one of our first true hero's. The reviewer stated that the book doesn't state true facts, they claims they are in criminology. Well they better stay there and learn a little more about space and the space programs and how the space program operates. I would highly recommend this book to everyone that wants the true facts.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. Justiz on July 25, 2003
I read The All-American Boys when it was first released and found it to be captivating then. Since that time, I have married a NASA pilot and become very involved in the NASA community. The book is even better the second time around - plus astronaut Cunningham has a great take on our partnership with the Russians, current NASA management and the recent loss of the space shuttle Columbia. This book really does "tell it like it is" - it is a fascinating story for anyone, space fan or not!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Herbert T. Schwartz on August 6, 2003
Walter has surpassed even my expectations of this version of the All American Boys. Those expectations were fairly high because, knowing Walt, it was reasonable to anticipate a clear, articulate and straight forward text of his experiences as well as the unadulterated story of NASA. The public image of organizations is, almost without exception, distinctively different from the internal mechanisms and politics. Those who labor in a professional office, business or educational institution, and even within a family, are aware of that truism.
The All American Boys demonstrates that the highs and lows, the public persona and the internal Byzantine power struggles within NASA have been alive and well since its creation as nation's premier scientific agency. I would describe Walter's work as a combination of Days of Our Life and MacGyver. Order it, read it, and it will occupy a worthy place on your bookshelf.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Holt on October 1, 2003
Walt Cunningham is a marine and a fighter pilot through and through. His book reflects his own standards in life, direct and to the point. He pulls no punches in pointing out the exacting life and the stresses in the Astronaut Corps in the early days of NASA. I was there too at the same time and know somewhat the facts as he has detailed them in this excellent book. I was on the periphery of the Astronaut Corps, reponsible for making sure that their needs and those of the Flight Control Team were met with all the instrumentation and the control center on the ground to support their flights. We sometimes got involved in the intricate web of their society, and knew of some of the problems within their ranks. But Walt, in this volume, brings out a whole lot of detail that could only be told by someone in the inner circle bold enough to recite them in print. He has done this masterfully in this book of his. His apparent stepping on some sensitive toes is done in a good manner, and no one mentioned should walk away after reading his work and be too upset by the revelations on the inside. You could expect the rivalries and competition highlighted by Walt from a bunch of super-qualified fighter pilots newly named Astronauts. It is their nature to be that way. Put them all in the same cage, and you get very interesting person-to-person tidbits which come out in this book. Well worth reading if this is the only astronaut book you read.
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