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The Soviet Manned Space Program Hardcover – November 11, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0517569542 ISBN-10: 051756954X Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (November 11, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051756954X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517569542
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book is as much a detective story about trying to gather information in the pre- glasnost Soviet Union as it is an exhaustive history of every Soviet manned space mission. Of particular interest is the coverage of the Soviets' unsuccessful manned lunar program of the 1960s. Unfortunately, the author's dry writing style and the almost excruciating detail make this volume less readable than similar histories, e.g., James E. Oberg's Red Star in Orbit ( LJ 6/15/81) and Peter R. Bond's Heroes In Space ( LJ 6/15/87). Nevertheless, given its excellent illustrations, as well as the burgeoning Soviet space program itself, this is still highly recommended.
- Thomas J. Frieling, Bainbridge Coll., Ga.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rogera Sauterer on October 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Although now out of print and seriously in need of a revised edition, this is the best history in English of the Soviet manned space program up to the late 1980's. It was published in 1988, just as the first of the glasnost revelations about the Soviet space program was coming out, but since then much new material has been released. Phillip Clark is a well-known analyst of the Soviet space program who is a consultant for the European aerospace industry, and his studies are highly regarded in the field. Overall, the histories of the Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz programs in this book are the best available in English (and I've read most of the ones that are available), and the history of the Salyut and early phases of the Mir programs are excellent. The coverage of the Soviet manned lunar N-1/L3 and L-1 (Zond) programs was good based on the very limited information available at the time (The Soviets did not formally admit to having a manned lunar landing program until after the book was published), but are now very outdated and are in error in some places, now that the Russians have released many formerly classified details about these programs. Overall, the book is fairly scholarly, but is also written for the general reader, which is in itself quite an accomplishment. It is profusely illustrated with photographs, many in color, diagrams, and details of the spacecraft and launch systems. Despite this book being seriously out of date, it still should be considered an essential book for any serious enthusiast of Soviet space history. One can only hope that the author revises this superb book to incorporate all the new information released by the Russians. Mr Clark, are you listening???
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gery H. Bedard on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am fascinated by the Russian and former Soviet crewed space program; I love the Soyuz spacecraft and can remember being in France in the summer of 1975 when Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 docked in space.
This book is the best of its kind that I have seen in English, and it is my sincere hope that Phillip Clark will write a revised and updated edition.
I hope to someday learn how to read Russian but in the meantime I think Mr. Clark's book is the best reference on this subject that I will be able to find.
It is also my sincere hope that the United States of America and the Russian Republic will go hand in hand to Mars; I am also glad for the International Space Station where Americans and Russians are learning to work together in preparation for the long and arduous journey to Mars.
I would even recommend this book to any layperson.
Gery Bedard
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hardcover book with almost 200 pages, great photos and drawingcomparable with those seen in Russian language books on this subject!The book covers all soyuz missions up to the first launches to the MIR space station! A must for each serious space flight enthusiast. An updated version would be welcome by the turn of the Millennium 2001 !
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raymond A. Broms on April 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Please do not consider the review by the Library Journal too informative. While Mr. Oberg is a fair observer of the Soviet program he is more of a discursive writer. This book is loaded with important factual material put together in a good time-line with lots of uncommon photographs and insights. Just the thing for the careful student of this topic. As a newsletter writer I find in invaluable.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Clark on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What a great subject! Having explored most of the American manned space program, I thought it would be refreshing to take a look at the Soviet space program as well, to compare and contrast how they worked together.

Unfortunately, the book was written in 1987 or so and published in 1988, before the fall of communism in the Soviet Union. Much of the information in the book is written based on mere conjecture as the "truth" had not yet been revealed. As NASA worked with the Russians to become partners in space, first with Mir, and then with the ISS, we learned in great detail about the history of their space program. Unfortunately, Mr. Clark did not have access to this wealth of knowledge in 1987.

An example is reading about the Soviet space shuttle program. There was a great amount of excitement that the Soviets would soon be able to have a heavy lift capacity that would enable them to match the American achievements in space brought by our own space shuttle. But alas, it was never meant to be. Buran flew a single unmanned test flight, was grounded, and eventually destroyed by a hanger collapse.

None of this is, of course, Mr. Clark's fault. However, it becomes difficult to read when you know that the truth is so different from the conjecture presented in the book. A serious overhaul and update would do wonders for the book!
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