Synopses & Reviews
A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind
At 9:32 A.M. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. It carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins to the last frontier of human imagination: the moon.
Rocket Men is the thrilling story of the moon mission, and it restores the mystery and majesty to an event that may have become too familiar for most people to realize what a stunning achievement it represented in planning, technology, and execution.
Through interviews, twenty-three thousand pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Craig Nelson re-creates a vivid and detailed account of the Apollo 11 mission. From the quotidian to the scientific to the magical, readers are taken right into the cockpit with Aldrin and Armstrong and behind the scenes at Mission Control.
Rocket Men is the story of a twentieth-century pilgrimage; a voyage into the unknown motivated by politics, faith, science, and wonder that changed the course of history.
"On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon. In this extensively researched account of that epic achievement, former publishing executive and prize-winning author Nelson (The First Heroes) moves seamlessly between Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, their nervous families and the equally nervous NASA ground crew. Nelson follows Armstrong in nail-biting detail as he tries to find a place to land with less than a minute's worth of fuel remaining. A large central section of the book digresses to provide some backstory on the feverish American-Soviet game of one-upmanship in the year leading up to the Apollo 11 launch. For instance, Nelson describes Apollo 8 as an almost reckless gamble by NASA to beat the Russians in sending men to orbit the moon The book also describes the sad personal toll the mission took. Collins was best able to deal with the cost of fame yet expressed the anticlimax of life after Apollo 11: 'I seem gripped by earthly ennui.' Space fans and readers who remember that momentous time will find this an exciting read. (June 29)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The thrilling story of the Apollo Moon mission restores the mystery and majesty to an event that may have become too familiar for most people to realize what a stunning achievement it represented in planning, technology, and execution.
Read Craig Nelson's posts on the Penguin Blog.
"Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride."
-The Wall Street Journal
Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination.
Unabridged CDs ? 18 hours, 14 CDs
A richly detailed and dramatic account of one of the greatest achievements of humankind.
About the Author
Craig Nelson is the author of four previous books, including The First Heroes
and Let's Get Lost
. His writings have appeared in Salon
, The New England Review
, and a host of other publications. He was an editor at HarperCollins, Hyperion, and Random House for almost twenty years and has been profiled by Variety
, and Time Out