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A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts Paperback – August 28, 2007
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What follows are thrilling accounts of such remarkable experiences as the rush of a liftoff, the heart-stopping touchdown on the moon, the final hurdle of re-entry, competition for a seat on a moon flight, the tragic spacecraft fire, and the search for clues to the origin of the solar system on the slopes of lunar mountains."I've been there. Chaikin took me back."--Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 astronaut
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Chaikin is the only person to ever interview all 12 moonwalkers and get their personal feelings about everything from individual astronaut selection, crew selection, training, peer relations and best of all -- orbiting and walking on the moon. This is not a technical or scientific history, but an account of how the astronauts FELT about their entire Apollo experiences. You can easily "walk in their shoes" and "see through their eyes" with this book.
He writes in a way all persons can understand and simplifies the engineering and scientific aspects so you can understand what the astronauts were dealing with. Not only does he avoid getting bogged down in technical speak, but actually makes the technical parts fascinating to learn!
Although the moonwalkers are the primary focus of the book, Chaikin wrote a well-rounded history that encapsulates the entire Apollo story rather well. He didn't just interview moonwalkers, but also astronauts who stayed in orbit but still had valuable experiences to share. And Chaikin didn't stop there. Working as a brilliant historian should, he also spoke to the often neglected "ground people": i.e. family members, flight controllers, geologists, managers and administrators.
If you want a good summary of Project Apollo, I'd recommend four books:
"To A Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration" - by Don Wilhems. This is the science side of the story, and quite fascinating!
"Apollo" - by Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox. An amazing book that discusses the often neglected side of Apollo -- the ground crew and Mission Control -- as well as other important support people. Your knowledge of spaceflight is incomplete without it.
"Full Moon" by Michael Light. A beautiful coffee table book with pictures that take your mind to the moon. With this you can almost see what the astronauts did!
And lastly, and most important of all, this book. . ."A Man on the Moon." It will almost make you feel like you were the fourth crewman.
The four together will give you the best sense of what happened at that fascinating time in history!
A Man on The Moon was the last book I read, and I can speak from firsthand experience when I say that if I would have read it up first, I would have had no need to read the others. That is NOT to say that all of the other books are not good, quality reads (with maybe the exception being Schirra's book), because they certainly are, but Andy Chaikin left absolutely nothing to the imagination and almost no stone unturned when he penned this exciting and informative book.
Even though I was just a toddler when our exploration of the lunar surface began, thanks to Andy Chaikin, I don't feel that I missed a single thing.
The historical accuracy of the author's narrative makes this an essential reference shelf item as well. Chaikin interviewed all of the Apollo moonwalkers and all of the key figures alive at the time of it's writing. The recollections and interesting details relayed by Chaikin are not to be found in any other work. Chaikin has turned his collection of interviews and research items into a dramatic and bold story as interesting and arresting as any work of fiction ever produced. It is no mystery why Tom Hanks was so inspired by Chaikin's writing, that he set out to produce HBO's FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, the most expensive and elaborate mini-series production to date.
This book goes way above and beyond what you would normally think of as a "good read". I find it quite easy to pick up these volumes and randomly start reading from any of it's pages. Chaikin also reveals the more human side of the very special people who took us to the moon and made President John F. Kennedy's dreams of lunar conquest come true. reading this book will help you understand what made people like Alan Shepard tick or why Neil Armstrong is often misunderstood by the press and his collegues.
A MAN ON THE MOON should be on the bookshelf of everyone who claims a sense of adventure, curiosity, or history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderfully insightful and full of personal details found nowhere else.
The greatest era and the greatest astronauts.
The only issue i had was that the border of the paperback where a bit damaged which kinda ruined the...Read more