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Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War Paperback – November 11, 2008
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(1) Developing the world's first ballistic missile, the V-2, for Germany during World War II.
(2) Popularizing space exploration in the U.S. in the 1950s through a succession of articles, speeches, public appearances, and television broadcasts. The most important of these were the famed "Collier's" series of articles and the three Disney TV programs.
(3) Launching the first U.S. satellite to orbit the Earth, Explorer 1, in January 1958, a significant rejoinder to the Sputnik launches of the fall of 1957.
(4) Leading the technical development of the largest successful rocket ever built, the Saturn V launcher that took the Apollo astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s.Read more ›
There are many revelations, new stories and new interpretations on the deeds of Von Braun, especially in his NASA career. The amount of work and details is just stager ring, and the result is breathtaking. You can almost feel that you are in the meeting rooms at Marshal space flight center at the height of discussions on various Apollo and Saturn alternatives.
This book is with no doubt the best book ever to be published on the life and work of Wherner Von Braun, and will serve the space historians community as the definitive source for years to come.
The author does not make Von Braun any discounts, and when he has criticism on him or on his decisions at NASA (and of course on the WW2 period) we get to see a balanced account of the events.
A must have book and important addition to the history of spaceflight, on this jubilee year of the Sputnik launch.
Space Research Center
Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies
Anyhow, the RRS visit was followed by a talk on Saturn booster development in M. I. T.'s Kresge Auditorium, which would have impressed any U. S. congresspeople who saw it. But neither author Neufeld nor I have any illusions about the V-2 program. As was quoted several times from Mort Sahl imitating von Braun: "Ve shoot for ze moon, but zometimes ve hit London." So Neufeld does not indulge in hero worship.
Neufeld's exhaustive research, backed up by 120 pages of notes, uses letters sent by von Braun, other letters, interviews with relatives, and any other imaginable sources, has helped produce what must be the definitive biography of von Braun. Good index. Two groups of black & white photos are provided. And it is a biography, contrary to another Amazon reviewer, who called this book a history of rocketry, which it certainly is not. The author stated he was able to read German, which surely helped.
So von Braun's ancestors, schooling, early work in the German Society for Space Travel, movement to work for the Wehrmacht before Hitler was in power, and remaining afterwards is all there.Read more ›
The book is certainly true to its title. This is the story of of Wernher von Braun, and Neufeld stays tightly focused on his subject. Wernher von Braun led a fascinating life. Born to aristocracy, he dreamed of going to space from an early age, and became an early pioneer of the rocket industry. During World War II he became head of one of Germany's most sophisticated weapons programs, eventually developing the V-2 rocket. At the end of World War II, von Braun and other German scientist were brought to the United States, where he became head of one of the United States' first space programs. Eventually he would play a leading role in launching the first US satellite, and in the Apollo lunar missions. Throughout, von Braun is a larger than life personality: appearing on TV and in movies; writing popular fiction and magazine articles; meeting with heads of state and celebrities; jetting to exotic locations; flying, big game hunting, and scuba diving.
The relentless focus on von Braun might be too much for some readers, and at times the book seems to be an endless parade of dates and facts. While well written, and easy to follow, it is inevitably tedious. While we are treated to a detailed account of von Braun's family tree there is little on the history of rocketry before von Braun. Even though von Braun's life was largely shaped by World War II and the Cold War, there is little background on these events.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As far as I know, this is the most complete biography of Von Braun. Highly recommendable!!!Published 2 months ago by Antonio Luis Sapienza
Everyone should read this book to understand how we got from World War 11 to where we are now/
One can only say Von Braun was phenomenal - a man who came along at the right... Read more
It is a biography of an exceptional man, astonishingly gifted and
hardworking, whole life pursuing his space dream to become reality. Read more
This biography is extremely well researched, and is surely a staple of the available literature on von Braun. Read morePublished 19 months ago by John S.
This book has a strong bias against Von Braun it is a constant theme rather than being delt with once and then moving on to other things. Read morePublished 21 months ago by major