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John Glenn a Memoir (Large Print)
Synopses & Reviews
He was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. Nearly four decades later, as the world's oldest astronaut, his courage riveted a nation. But these two historic events only bracket a life that covers the sweep of an extraordinary century. In this engrossing book, John Glenn tells the story of his unique life--one lived at the center of a momentous time in history by a man who helped shape that history.
He is the kind of hero who resists being called a hero. And yet his exploits in the service of his country, his dedication to family and friends, and his rock-ribbed traditional values have made this small-town boy from the Midwest a true American icon.
John Glenn's autobiography spans the seminal events of the twentieth century. It is a story that begins with his childhood in New Concord, Ohio, in the aftermath of World War I. It was there that he learned the importance of family, community, and patriotism. Glenn saw firsthand the ravages of the Depression and learned that determination, hard work, and teamwork could overcome any adversity. These were the values he carried with him as a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and into the skies over Korea, for which he would be decorated for his courage, dedication, and sacrifice. Glenn flew missions with men he would never forget, from baseball great Ted Williams to little-known heroes who would never return to their families. Always a gifted flier, it was during the war that he contemplated the unlimited possibilities of aviation and its next frontiers: speed and space.
John Glenn takes us into the cockpits of the experimental planes and spacecraft he flew to experience the pulse-pounding excitement of the early days of jet aviation, including his record-setting transcontinental flight in an F8U Crusader in 1957, and then on to his selection for the Project Mercury program in 1959. We see the early days of NASA, where he first served as a backup pilot for astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom and helped refine some of the initial cockpit and control designs for the Apollo program. In 1962 Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Then came several years in international business, followed by a twenty-four-year career as a U.S. senator--and in 1998 a return to space for his remarkable Discovery mission at the age of seventy-seven.
This extraordinary book captures the unique alchemy that brings a man to the forefront of his time. Married to a woman he first met when they were both toddlers, known for his integrity, common sense, and leadership in the Senate, John Glenn tells a story that we must hear. For this narrative of steadfastness, devotion, courage, and honor is both a great adventure tale and a source of powerful inspiration for an age that needs John Glenn's values more than ever before.
John Glenn, born in a small Ohio town in 1921, drew from his parents the rock-ribbed traditional values by which he has lived ever since: the importance of family, community, and patriotism. A Depression childhood taught him hard work, determination, and teamwork, and he brought these qualities to his life as a decorated Marine fighter pilot, a test pilot, an astronaut who piloted the first manned orbital mission of the United States, a 24-year career as a U.S. senator, and in 1998 — at the age of 77 — his return to space in his remarkable Discovery mission. Married for 57 years to his childhood sweetheart Annie, his devotion to his wife and two children comes through movingly in these pages. As the reviews have noted, the life Glenn tells us about portrays a man whose courage, integrity, toughmindedness, and dedication are the hallmarks of true heroism.
About the Author
John Glenn has spent most of his life in public service, as a distinguished U.S. senator and a veteran of twenty-three years in the Marine Corps, during which time he was awarded numerous medals for his achievements, as well as the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He and his wife of fifty-six years, Annie, have two grown children and two grandchildren. They live near Washington, D.C., and in Columbus, Ohio.
Nick Taylor is the author of six nonfiction books, among them the highly praised A Necessary End, a memoir of his parents' final years, and most recently Healing Lessons, with Sidney Winawer, M.D. He lives in New York City.
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