5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Too many good stories for one volume,
This review is from: This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age (Modern Library Paperbacks) (Paperback)
The breadth of "This New Ocean" forces Burrows to treat the most compelling technical and personal achievements of the Space Age too lightly. With rocket launches more reliable today than fifty years ago, it's difficult to understand what the big deal was about the early rocket launches. A deeper engineering background than he offers would permit a better appreciation of the early rocketeers' work. Moreover, Burrows' writing seems heavy-handed at times (especially in condemning the effects of the Soviet political structure on research there). Burrows seems most comfortable writing on space-based reconnaissance (thanks to his earlier work on that subject), and he carefully relates the internecine funding battles of the 1950s and 1970s to the political climates of those times.
This volume is best used to place technological developments in a political context; look to Baker's "History of Manned Space Flight" or "The Rocket" for more careful consideration of the engineering.