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Chariots for Apollo: The Untold Story Behind the Race to the Moon Paperback – August, 1987
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From Library Journal
This is a readable, colorful book that should be approached with caution. The authors put Grumman Corporation, prime contractor for the lunar module, in center stage. While contractors often get less credit than they deserve, the emphasis here results in an unbalanced view. The resolution of major issues generally was much more complex than the narrative suggests. One might infer from the text that a Grumman executive singlehandedly convinced the White House to implement the Space Station program. Finally, the authors have re-created some of the correspondence and dialogue, a technique which is not always successful. Which parts are historically accurate and which are not? In spite of dramatic writing, use of historically significant material, and a number of interesting illustrations, this, by its nature, appears to be a rather subjective account. Roger E. Bilstein, History Dept., Univ. of HoustonClear Lake
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Dr. Charles Pellegrino is the author of twelve books, including Unearthing Atlantis and Her Name, Titanic. He is a paleontologist who designs robotic space probes and relativistic rockets. In his spare time, Pellegrino writes mindbending technothrillers. Jan de Bont, the director of Speed and Twister, has recently signed on to direct the film adaptation of Pellegrino's Dust. Dr. Pellegrino lives in New York. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm not sure that this book does it justice, though. First of all, nothing on the cover of the book (illustrated with a crescent moon and a picture of Buzz, but no LM) indicates that it is devoted to the story of the LM. Furthermore, the sections and chapters are more like a buffet, with little morsels and anecdotes arranged in chronologic order. Worse, at times the writing seems self-conscious and overdone.
But oh, the story of the LM. Glorious. It IS fascinating. This reader came away from the book with a sense of just how incredibly exotic the vehicle was. From sheets of aluminum so thin you could see through them, to the ultra-toxic hypergolic fuel and its ultra-corrosive oxidizer, to a completely new welding technology using gold and microwaves, the LM was a cornucopia of innovation. The Grumman staff were no less remarkable in their dedication and emotional involvement in the program. They designed and built these spidery craft working 16-20+ hour days 7 days a week, for years fending off hostile NASA inspectors, risking and somethimes destroying their marriages. Many wept when Neil and Buzz landed safely on the moon.
"Chariots" is valuable because it is the only book that talks about the LM and does so in very human terms: obsession, pride, dedication, absolute attention to detail. It is a pity the authors couldn't have done a little better job at advertising the mission of the book on its cover. The LM and its creators deserve a lot more fanfare.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I discovered this gem as originally released in 1985.Read more