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Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon
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Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  1,150 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Moon Shot is a damned fine book! Even those of us who thought we were thoroughly covering the story never heard all the tales to be found within these covers... Gripping, authoritative, suspenseful, poignant and skilfully told, this is the ultimate inside story of the US space programme - Walter Cronkite

July 20, 1969. Eight years after President John F. Kennedy promised Am
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Hardcover, 383 pages
Published 1994 by Virgin Books
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Moon
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Gavin
I'll give this two stars, but that's a bit of a charity rating. If it wasn't for subject matter that truly interests me, I probably would have closed this one permanently after the first few hundred pages.

It didn't take long for me to realize how poor the writing is. It's bad enough to induce groans and eye rolls all too often. The number of times a 'many tongued, fire spewing monster' carried the astronauts to a 'higher astral plane of lavish weightlessness' is actually embarrassing. It reads l
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C.H. Cobb
One of the unfortunate consequences of a world in which more and more books roll off the presses each day, is that all too many good ones are forgotten too soon. Such is the case with Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon. It’s an exciting chronicle of the American manned space program from the arrival of Werner von Braun and his team of rocket scientists on our shores, to the final flight of Apollo.

It’s not primarily a story of technology, it’s more a story of men: the polit
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Shel
Fascinating subject matter, but it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a history or a novelization. I'm glad I read it, though, I learned a lot about the space program that I hadn't known before.

One thing at the end almost ruined the book for me, though. Right after a really lovely passage about Deke Slayton finally getting to view the Earth from space and musing about how there are no borders from above, no nations, no politics, just one beautiful world, the book immediately turns to a sca
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Augusto Barros
Just became one of my favorite books! An inside report of the american space program, specially the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. Written in a very nice way to present the personal point of view of Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, including their personal dramas of being grounded when history was being written and their colleagues were being sent into orbit and to the moon.

I watched 'The Right Stuff' again this weekend, and it's really a poor picture of what happened to the Mercury 7 astro
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melissa1lbr
Things I Liked:
I'm pretty much a fan of space books and will get some enjoyment out of anything written about it. Though I haven't read much of anything nonfiction for a while, I still get a buzz from reading a flying in space. This book had a pretty good look at what astronauts experienced - the ups and downs of flying and failing and not making it. I liked reading about the earlier programs, Mercury and Gemini that don't get a lot of attention. I thought it was an interesting and even excitin
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Kathryn
Moon Shot is the ghostwritten account of Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton's experiences at NASA during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. This is, of course, fascinating stuff, and I had difficulty putting the book down in terms of the subject matter.

However, the writing is TERRIBLE. It is SO BAD. SO BAD, you guys. It's ridiculously flowery in the way of newspaper writers who have no clue how to write something other than a newspaper column. The book gushes like mad over the astronauts, almo
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Heather Domin
I'm waffling between 3.5 and 4 stars. My personal fangirling makes me read anything to do with these people (and these two in particular) through rose-colored glasses, so of course I enjoyed the hell out of it; but to be honest the writing was a bit overdone for my taste. It's narrative prose (the "nonfiction novel") and somebody really wanted it to be dramatic. Which is fine of course - this stuff is dramatic! - but when you're reading long conversations you know can't possibly be verbatim, it ...more
Jeff
a very entertaining read about the space program, told by two of the first astronauts (Shepard and Slayton). It gives a reasonably thorough description of the founding of the program, and the major events all the way through Slayton leading the Apollo Soyuz docking mission.

There is, as with every "memoir", some grandiosity to their claims and their own roles and the importance of their accomplishments. for example, they claim that the docking of the two space capsules "arrested the advance of th
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Care
There are some events in the history of mankind which can never be duplicated. Only one person could be the first to orbit the earth in a spacecraft, or drift outside its confines, or walk on the face of our moon. The 1950s through the 1970s were a special time in the great, epic story of our race. A few dozen men with skill, nerve, and willingness to put their lives on the line to experience the impossible, for themselves and their fellow human beings, stepped up for perhaps the greatest endeav ...more
Leew49
MOON SHOT give a good summary of the American and, to a lesser extent, the Soviet space program beginning with the race by both countries at the end of WWII to recruit/capture German scientists involved in Hitler's rocket program and ending with the final Apollo flight, which was a collaboration between the two Cold War superpowers. Indeed, one theme on the book is how a space race that began as a bitter rivalry for technological superiority and propaganda evolved into a shared purpose of the tw ...more
Stephen
Moon Shot: the Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon
© 1995 Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton. Introduction by Neil Armstrong
383 pages



The Apollo program has been in the news as of late given the death of Neil Armstrong, who with Buzz Aldrin was one of the first men to land on the moon, but my own reading in this subject for the past couple of months was prompted by seeing From the Earth to the Sky, which I've since begun to watch again*. Moon Shot stands apart from the books I've read previously -
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Darkpool (protesting GR censorship)
From previous books I've read on my great moon program binge, I’d developed something of an ambivalence toward the two astronauts who are credited with writing this book. "The Right Stuff" did not paint a flattering picture of Al Shepard, and I'd twice recently come across the comment that most of the Gemini and Apollo astronauts did not know why Deke Slayton had selected each of them for particular crews until they read his autobiography several decades later.
My opinion of these gents has cert
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Beverly Hollandbeck
It's always fun to read about an era in history that you lived through. I don't think this book adds much to the exciting story of the space exploration era but as a reminder of what happened. I was disappointed that, with Alan Shepherd and Deke Slayton listed as authors, the book was completely in third person. Telling what someone is thinking is not as powerful as telling what you are thinking and in third person sometimes even sounds a bit cheesy. So I like Buzz Aldrin's book better.
Holly
I know I gave this book only 3 stars but I really loved this book. Where it falls short is also one of it's strengths. It looks at the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo missions from the perspective of the astronauts involved and doesn't take into account a lot of the background political stuff. Some of the writing was a little flowery - but the work these men did really speaks for itself.

I could have done without the revision at the end slamming the Obama administration for slashing NASA's budget - that d
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Steve
Good look into the Mercury and Apollo space program by two former astronauts (Shepard, Slayton). Read this since I was very interested in the Apollo program when I was in school and seeing behind the scenes was very enjoyable. Reviews of this book pointed out how it was poorly written, and there were some bad sections but not enough to be a distraction. The preachy end to the revised edition was unnecessary.
Steve O
Nice personal history of the space race of the '60s and '70. Since it is about two American astronauts the story centers around their experiences (sometimes making it sound like they made it all happen directly!) is paints a god picture of our successes and failures. Made a good TV documentary too.
Damon Hall
Good fun read, a good overview from the Mercury Program through the end of the Apollo program. With some of the behind the scenes stories, and feelings, you would expect from a book written by/with Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, two the Mercury Seven astronauts and critcal members of the NASA leadership for many of the years covered.
Ross Wyman
We Need Heroes

We Need Heroes

Great men have been displaced and replaced by timid politicians. It is good to be reminded of the seven men who dared much and gave more to blaze the way. They are greatly missed and deserve to be remembered.
Bob
Given the approach of the 40th anniversary of our first touchdown on the moon, I thought this book would be appropriate. I'm pretty familiar with the U.S. space program of the 60s, but this was still an informative and fun-to-read narrative from two men intimately involved with the program. While they tried to maintain an objective, third-person writing, the story is clearly about Deke Slayton and Alan Shephard. That's not a bad thing! It really added flavor to my understanding of the developmen ...more
Greg
Though this book had incredibly interesting information it wasn't written great. It definitely takes a while to get past the poor writing but once you do it is an incredibly interesting book that anyone interested in the space race should read.
Jim Fitzgerald
Haven't started as of September 3, 2014.
Note: here is the Amazon link to purchase the e-book in Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004S2U...
Dustin Gaughran
This is mostly a combined memoir of Deke Slayton and Alan Shepard, two of the original Mercury Seven, and the odd twists and turns each man faced on their journey to space. And because each man was literally at the very beginning of American manned space flight, their story goes from Mercury to Apollo-Soyuz, covering every important detail in between. This is a more light hearted account of the space race, with the feel of a space novel instead of a history. It's a nice compliment to everything ...more
Anna
Jan 02, 2008 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who wants inside information about the race to the moon.
Althought I enjoyed reading this book, I cannot say it was well written. The writing seemed contrived and forced. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot! But I found that I couldn't put it down because it gave so much interesting insight into the Mercury and Apollo program. There was so much interesting information given about all of the different attempts and landings, not just the usual suspects- i.e. Mercury 3,4,6; Apollo 1, 11, 13. Each mission was given special attention and that was fascinat ...more
Connie
This was a rather dry book with very little new information. I have read other books that were better.
Jason
Great book. Loved it. Last chapter was a sad ending on how Obama effectively wrecked the US manned space flight program.
Todd
Another telling of the Space Race from a different prespective, and one of the better ones at that. This is the story of Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton, 2 of the Original 7. Shepard was the first American into space, Deke almost didn't make it. And most of the books I have read on this subject (this is number 8) it has never mentioned that Slayton did finally make it.

I enjoyed the way this one deal more with the dynamic of the actual race, and how that spurred on the US to finally leap frog the
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Bill S.
A must for anyone of the age to appreciate what the space program meant for many Americans in the 60's and 70's.
Holley
An excellent book that genuinely captures the wonder, excitement and joy of early space exploration. Not so technical that it would put off readers.

It is only slightly diminished by the sudden shift in tone as the final paragraphs rail against the current administration and it's lack of interest in continuing the legacy bequeathed by two of the authors. Not that I disagree with the idea that we should continue exploration. The sudden shift from enthusiasm to anger was jarring.

Lara
An interesting insight into the Apollo missions of the 1960's and 70s. In this updated edition, the last chapter is a political attack on the current US President's decision to curtail spending on space exploration which I found disappointing. Setting this aside, the book provides a look into the exciting times of the not so distant past and gave me an appreciation of the dangers a small group of people faced in order to advance our understanding of our planet and its moon.
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Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998) (Rear Admiral, United States Navy, Ret.) was an American naval aviator and astronaut who became the second person, and the first American, in space. Ten years later, he commanded the Apollo 14 mission, and was the fifth person to walk on the Moon.

Original Mercury astronaut named in 1959, the first American in space during a suborbital
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More about Alan Shepard...
Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Apollo Moon Landings We Seven: By the Astronauts Themselves Into Orbit: The Oxford Francis Bacon I: Early Writings 1584-1596 Churchill's Generals

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