Jamie Doran

Jamie Doran

Average rating: 3.99 · 692 ratings · 83 reviews · 1 distinct work · Similar authors
Starman: The Truth Behind T...

3.99 avg rating — 691 ratings — published 1998 — 12 editions
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“Gagarin’s death was shameful not just because of the loss of a national hero in muddled circumstances, but because of the dangerous flaws revealed in the Soviet military technology of his time. Obviously their radar systems were not capable of simultaneous mapping of aircraft heights and positions, nor of positively identifying one target from another. The implications of this were highly alarming.”
Jamie Doran, Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin

“Two days after the fighting had subsided, the older Gagarin boys, Valentin and Yuri, sneaked into the woods to see what had happened. ‘We saw a Russian colonel, badly wounded but still breathing after lying where he fell for two days and nights,’ Valentin explains. ‘The German officers went to where he was lying, in a bush, and he pretended to be blind. Some high-ranking officers tried to ask him questions, and he replied that he couldn’t hear them very well, and asked them to lean down closer. So they came closer and bent right over him, and then he blew a grenade he’d hidden behind his back. No one survived.’ Valentin remembers Yuri’s rapid transformation after this from a grinning little imp to a serious-minded boy, going down into the cellar to find bread, potatoes, milk and vegetables, and distributing them to refugees from other districts who were trudging through the village to escape the Germans. ‘He smiled less frequently in those years, even though he was by nature a very happy child. I remember he seldom cried out at pain, or about all the terrible things around us. I think he only cried if his self-respect was hurt . . . Many of the traits of character that suited him in later years as a pilot and cosmonaut all developed around that time, during the war.”
Jamie Doran, Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin

“Valentin was still a boy, and Zoya was a young and charming lass, defenceless in the face of misfortunes that might befall her far from home. Her mother’s grief was boundless, but her husband said to her, ‘Remember, Boris and Yuri still need you.’ You’d have thought the war, the occupation, the fearful Germans billeted in the Gagarins’ home, would have mutilated for ever those children’s personalities, but their mother and father did everything to prevent this. They never showed even a trace of servility to the enemy. It follows that the children showed none either.”
Jamie Doran, Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin

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