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Rocket Man: Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Ageby David A. Clary
Synopses & Reviews
More famous in his day than Einstein or Edison, the troubled, solitary genius Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) was the American father of rocketry and space flight, launching the world's first liquid-fuel rockets and the first powered vehicles to break the sound barrier. Supported by Charles Lindbergh and Harry Guggenheim, through fiery, often explosive, experiments at Roswell, New Mexico, he invented the methods that carried men to the moon. Today, no rocket or jet plane can fly without using his inventions. Yet he is the "forgotten man" of the space age. His own government ignored his rocketry?until the Germans demonstrated its principles in the V-2 missiles of World War II. The American government usurped his 214 patents, while suppressing his contributions in the name of national security, until it was forced to pay one million dollars for patent infringement. Goddard became famous again, monuments and medals raining upon his memory. But his renewed fame soon faded, and Goddard's pivotal role in launching the Space Age has been largely forgotten.
"This well-researched portrait cements Goddard?s status as a hero in the history of space technology." Booklist
"Rocket Man is a long overdue tribute to one of the greatest engineers of the 20th Century?whose work helped change the future of this and many other worlds." Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey
"Robert Goddard was the visionary who laid the path for America's ventures into space and Rocket Man is the story of his dream." Captain James A. Lovell
"Goddard's stick-to-itiveness nature is evident in the biography by David Clary and is an important reminder of what it takes to persevere and to make a significant contribution to science." Chris Kraft, Retired Director, Johnson Space Center
Book News Annotation:
Goddard (1882-1945) was the most famous scientist in America between the world wars, and his fame continued to grow after his death until 1960, when the biography This High Man proved too hagiographic, and scientists and historians began to object. He became a historical footnote, but Clary (history, Eastern New Mexico U., Roswell) wants to shed light on the man, not the legend he and his heirs made of him. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Traces the life of rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard, describing his contributions to the science and technology of the twentieth century, his sometimes turbulent life, and his pivotal role in launching the Space Age.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -315) and index.
About the Author
David A. Clary, former Chief Historian of the U.S. Forest Service, is the author of numerous books and other publications on military and scientific history. He has served as consultant to several government agencies, and teaches history at Eastern New Mexico University at Roswell, where he resides.
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