Synopses & Reviews
Much has been written about Neil Armstrong, Americas modern hero and historys most famous space traveler. Yet shy of fame and never one to steal the spotlight Armstrong was always reluctant to discuss his personal side of events. Here for the first time is the definitive story of Neils life of flight he shared for five decades with a trusted friend - Jay Barbree.
Working from 50 years of conversations he had with Neil, from notes, interviews, NASA spaceflight transcripts, and remembrances of those Armstrong trusted, Barbree writes about Neils three passions - flight, family, and friends. This is the inside story of Neil Armstrong from the time he flew combat missions in the Korean War and then flew a rocket plane called the X-15 to the edge of space, to when he saved his Gemini 8 by flying the first emergency return from Earth orbit and then flew Apollo-Eleven to the moons Sea of Tranquility.
Together Neil and Jay discussed everything, from his love of flying, to the war years, and of course his time in space. The book is full of never-before-seen photos and personal details written down for the first time, including what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be.
As the only reporter to have covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings Jay knows these events intimately. Neil Armstrong himself said, “Barbree is historys most experienced space journalist. He is exceptionally well qualified to recall and write the events and emotions of our time.” Through his friendship with Neil and his dedicated research, Barbree brings us the most accurate account of his friends life of flight, the book he planned for twenty years.
Praise for Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight
“An eye-opening and entertaining tale of the race to the moon.”
- Publishers Weekly
“Veteran news correspondent Barbree offers an intimate view into the life of Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), his friend as well as a national hero and very private person. The author paints a detailed and colorful picture of his subject and an unbiased depiction of the period in which he lived, while also demonstrating reverence for Armstrong as confidant.”
- Library Journal, starred review
“A wholly admiring assessment of Armstrong the aviator and Armstrong the man.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“NBC News space reporter Jay Barbree spent 50 years getting to know astronaut Neil Armstrong. In this biography, Barbree recalls Armstrongs historic moon landing in gripping detail.”
“Emerging clearly in Barbrees narrative are Armstrongs humility and integrity - bedrock values that remained with him throughout his life.”
- Aerospace America
"This is a great book and does much to preserve Neil's legacy."
- Jim Lovell, NASA astronaut and commander of Apollo 13 mission
"You'll find the Neil Armstrong I knew in these pages."
- Gene Cernan, NASA astronaut and the last man on the moon
To date, everything written about Armstongs life and flights has been written from the outside looking in; Barbree is the only person whom Neil Armstrong trusted to share close personal details about his inspiring life story.
Working from his years of notes, and with the full cooperation of the Armstrong family, Barbree has written the definitive biography of Americas most famous astronaut and one of our greatest modern heroes. Much has already been written about Armstrong and the major players who helped him fly to the moon, but he wanted this book to emphasize his two passions—family and flight. Barbree and Armstrong discussed everything, from his two marriages and the death of his baby daughter, to his love of flying, the war years and of course, his time in space. The book, timed to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and full of never-before-seen photos, includes many personal details that have never before been written, such as what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be.
About the Author
JAY BARBREE is in his 55th year with NBC News. He is the only reporter to have covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings, and the only reporter to be awarded NASAs highest medal for public service. He received an Emmy for his coverage of Neil Armstrongs first walk on the moon, broke the cause of the Challenger accident on Tom Brokaws Nightly News, and hes still on the job covering space for NBCs five television networks while writing space stories for NBCnews.com. Barbree was also the lead writer for the New York Times bestseller MOON SHOT with astronauts Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton, and Neil Armstrong.