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All-American Boys Paperback – July 15, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 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 alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: iPicturebooks (July 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1876963247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1876963248
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron D. Hood on November 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read The All-American Boys in one weekend - it was hard to put it down! Walt Cunningham has a smooth, easy style of writing, not to mention some pretty interesting subject matter. There have been plenty of books about the space program, but I believe that this was the best I've read. I am really looking to the new edition, to be released in 2003.
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By A Customer on March 26, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham's book is probably the most candid book about the early astronauts. Cunningham seems to have felt like he was among the astronauts, rather than one of them. He seems awed by the celebrity status conferred on ordinary men like himself, and seeks to dispel the myth of astronaut as hero. He is very blunt, but also entertaining. I don't care about the technical side of the space race, I enjoy reading about the human side, and Cunningham's story is very human. A book any well-read space buff must see. It's hard to find even in libraries, so if you're lucky enough to get a copy, keep it, or e-mail me
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Format: Hardcover
According to Cunningham when it came to infidelity the astronauts could be broken down into three groups. Those who remained faithful to their wives. Those who did not. And those who would f--- a snake!Cunningham's premise is that although the men who flew Apollo were very average humans that should in no way detract from the wonder and the significance of their accomplishments. His book is one of the most candid of anyone who has flown in space.If you are a space buff read this book. You will not be disappointed!
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Format: Hardcover
I read The All-American Boys in one weekend - it was hard to put it down! Walt Cunningham has a smooth, easy style of writing, not to mention some pretty interesting subject matter. There have been plenty of books about the space program, but I believe that this was the best I've read. I am really looking forward to the new edition, to be released in 2003.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got the title of this review from Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins who described fellow astronaut Walt Cunningham this way. Only a few people have flown in space, and so we would expect astronaut auto-biographies to talk about this, but unfortunately, only Mike Collins book "Carrying the Fire" does it. After reading a few other autobiographies I finally came to the conclusion that it is not really worth the time and money to get their books, with them spending most of the pages discussing petty jealousies, practical jokes, celebrity golf tournaments, and their success or failure in the world of business.. Thus, I was somewhat reluctant to purchase Cunningham's, but the reviews convinced me to give it a try. Fortunately, it was worth it. Cunningham does share the flaw of the others in that he also doesn't describe his Apollo 7 flight in any detail, but the uniquness of his book is that he does give an interesting perspective on the American space program, and his fellow astronauts, not seen in the other autobiographies.

Part of the reason is, as Collins pointed out, that Cunningham received a rigorous scientific education and was involved in scientific research before going to work for NASA. This gave him a greater ability to objectively judge the qualities of his fellow astronauts.

The original Mercury astronauts were good pilots, but one of the most important qualitites that they were chosen for was ability to stand immense stress, because at that time, it was not known how spaceflight

would affect the astronauts, physically or mentally.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read almost all the astronaut books. Walter Cunningham's The All American Boys is a good book breaking the myth the American public had about the astronauts as super human can do anything heroes.

Walt shows the astronauts as human beings that did have big egos and loved to fly. We learn there were many opportunities for the Astros to have numerous sexual affairs if they wanted to. There were plenty of good looking woman who wanted an "Astro" in bed....almost a trophy game. "Deke" Slayton cautions to be discrete and not bring shame to NASA or you maybe looking for another job. Many married Astros did have extramarital relations while many Astros stayed faithful to their wives.

We learn almost all the Astros were not rich with the exception of Alan Shepard through business deals and contacts becomes a millionaire. However the Astros had many, many perks such as the Life magazine contract, corvette cars, low cost housing loans, use of NASA jets for transportation, etc. Also many Astros got to meet many presidents, kings, queens, other politicians, dignitaries and entertainers. Many complimentary tickets.

We learn about the hardships the Astro's wives had with their husband spaceman not being home allot. Many of the wives took care of their homes and raised their families,while Dad worked,worked, worked. A lot of tension. Eventually divorces started.

Walt shows the tragic rush, rush, and sloppy workmanship that lent to the fire of Apollo 1 and loss of 3 good friends. He shows their lives lost helped NASA and its contractors get on the ball to produce one of the greatest flying machines of all time.

We see the cutthroat antics of the Astros trying to get a flight....
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