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A Man On The Moon: The Voyages Of The Apollo Astronauts
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A Man On The Moon: The Voyages Of The Apollo Astronauts

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  2,440 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Chaikin is the only person to interview all 12 moonwalkers and get their personal feelings about everything from astronaut & crew selection, training, peer relations and best of all; orbiting and walking the moon. This is not a technical or scientific history, but an account of how the astronauts FELT about their entire Apollo experiences. You can easily "walk in their ...more
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Published January 5th 1995 by Penguin (first published January 1st 1994)
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Brad
I am not a believer in the conspiracy theory of the moon landings. There were just too many people involved, and that many people simply can't be counted upon to keep their mouths shut for all these years.

Perhaps I am a little biased, though. As an expatriate Yankee, one who is shamed and saddened by much of what my country has done, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions are one of the few things my country did in the Twentieth Century (and so far in the Twenty-First) for which I am actually p
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Ilya
The Apollo project was the culmination of the Soviet-American space race, the magnificently mad endeavor with no purpose other than national prestige, a twentieth century equivalent of the Great Sphinx of Giza. The Soviets were the first to orbit a satellite around the Earth, to orbit a man, and to land a probe on the Moon, Venus and Mars. Yet the Americans landed a man on the Moon, which the Soviets tried and failed to do. The project used machines more complicated than a Yamato class battleshi ...more
Brad
This review was written in the late nineties (just for myself), and it was buried in amongst my things until today, when I uncovered the journal it was written in. I have transcribed it verbatim from all those years ago (although square brackets indicate some additional information for the sake of readability). It is one of my lost reviews.

What a personally powerful book. A Man on the Moon is such a wonderful reminder of what we are capable of as a species and what wonderful things we can accomp
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Steve Mitchell
This is the true story of what was – arguably – the greatest technological and engineering achievement of the twentieth century. (No less a commentator that Arthur C. Clarke said that the moon landings will be the defining moment of our age that will be remembered in a thousand years time!) Anybody that doubts the genuine significance of the moon landings upon our understanding of the formation of the solar system and how the universe works should read this book. If you are one of those people t ...more
Marceline Smith
I got this for Christmas and it was all I could do not to sit sit down and read the whole thing from cover to cover, enormous though it is. I’ve been a space nut since I was very small (wait, I am still very small) and this book is just a joy. It describes NASA’s Apollo program in great detail, going through each mission from the disastrous beginnings through to the six Moon landings. While sometimes bogged down by technical language and military customs, it does a great job of explaining how it ...more
Jonathan Deaux
This is the "go to" book for nearly all things related to the Apollo Program for the average person interested in one of the greatest achievements of human history and the faces that made the trip. If you can only afford one book about Apollo, this is it. One reviewer seems to think that there may not be enough actual "political background" and "engineering" involved with this account. I read aviation and engineering books more often than not and this is not a book on the in depth engineering in ...more
Maura
I actually finished this about a week ago, but have been wanting to find the time to give it the glowing detailed review it deserves. Looks like that's not going to happen, so i better just get it out here and simply say: THIS IS GREAT.

It's what the HBO Series "From the Earth to the Moon" was based on. It's what the actors read when preparing for Apollo 13. It's simply a thorough, engagingly written overview of the whole Apollo program. as someone who missed the tv & film renditions of this
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Michael Dorosh
Brilliant book; Chaikin weaves myth and fact into a readable story of the odyssey of the Apollo astronauts, laying bare the foibles of the astronauts as plainly as their bravery. Not hidden is the technical brilliance of the support teams in Mission Control or the scope of the effort that put them into space, encompassing thousands of people in cottage industries across the nation, though the focus is firmly on the astronauts and the trouble shooters at the consoles rather than the workers on th ...more
Darryl
Arguably the most thorough in depth book about the Apollo moon program. Way too many things to put in a review. Very gripping the way it was written - for example when Apollo 8 orbited the moon. I thought prior to reading that it would be pretty straight forward. The book revealed to me just how much work went into the guidance system to make sure they were in the right place at the right time. A hair too high and they miss the moon without enough fuel to come back to earth, a hair too low and t ...more
Sara
I read this in preparation for our trip to Florida to meet the Apollo Astronauts and I'm so glad I did! The book was written to where you couldn't put it down - I hadn't thought much of the space program being the age I am, but now I see why these men are such heros.
Kieran
Brought back very powerful memories for me. I was riveted to the TV during all the Apollo landings. I also purchased the multi-disk DVD program that is based on the book. Great stuff!
Em
Despite taking a month to finish this book it was enthralling & for the most part a good read. The first part was concerned primarily with the science of the vehicles & the NASA training program. The second part was concerned with the science of lunar geography and geology. And all through it Chaikin had stories to tell of people who made the journey to the moon possible, many interesting stories. When I started the book I had Apollo 13 on my mind having seen Ron Howard’s film several we ...more
Josh
This was a really good book about the Apollo program, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. For those really interested in the space program, as I am, it really merits a 5 star, and for those not very interested, it's probably a 3 star. The book traces the Apollo program and it's astronauts from the very beginning through to the final voyage of Apollo 17. What made this book so enjoyable for me was all of the stories that I didn't know besides the landing (Apollo 11) and the accident (Apollo 13). Chaikin ...more
Tyler
I found this book in a 3 volume set at my school library. They tell the history of the Apollo program including details about every mission. I loved how well Chaikin balanced the story with the science and including the cool stories about the lives and personalities of the astronauts. It really helped me gain a picture of who these men are and connect me to their amazing missions. I love Chaikin's details about the spacecraft and the science of what each mission hoped to accomplish. I also found ...more
Paul Childs
A Man on the Moon was a interesting book that told the history of the Apollo program and the people that made it successful. It covered each Apollo flight in detail as well as some of the earlier space flights that cleared the way for the Apollo program. Whether you are interested in space flights, the lives of the astronauts, the history of NASA, or the geologic history of the Moon there is a lot in this book to satisfy the reader.

If there is a downside to this book it is that after reading abo
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Chris
I loved, loved, LOVED this book. "A Man on the Moon" is actually the third book I've read about the Apollo Program in as many years. This one has been tabbed by most as the definitive work on Apollo, and now I see why. Don't waste your time with the others. Read this one. It's a masterpiece -- part history lesson, part science manual, part astronaut biography, and large part adventure story. A common theme in space literature is that the men best equipped to go to the moon were the least adept a ...more
DK
Aug 19, 2013 DK rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History readers, NASA interest, space interest
Recommended to DK by: Online reviewers
Shelves: non-fiction, space
I was eleven years old when Neal and Buzz took their first steps on the surface of the moon, and I remember watching it live while sitting on the floor right in front of my parents television in the summer of 1969. I grew up thinking that space exploration was just a part of what our country did because every few months, there was a new rocket taking off in Florida with a mission of achieving something new in space. I have always loved the space program and love going back now and reading even m ...more
Michal W
A chronological retelling of the Apollo missions, from the astronauts' perspective.

The bulk consists of the astronauts worrying about who flies when and in what capacity; events which impact this. As soon as the missions start we are presented with detailed descriptions of their time-line, as experienced by the astronauts.

Astronauts are the book's exclusive focus. Unfortunately, their characteristics are little more than a short bio (son of a X, wanted to fly since he was 5 and saw first plane,
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Zach
Neil Armstrong: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

Me: "Ohhhhh shittttt I'm on the MOON the moon you guys, moon, MOOOOOOOOOOON!!!! Houston, I'm gonna try some handsprings for the next twelve days."

I've seen the videos of the Apollo 11 landing and the restraint of Aldrin and Armstrong puzzled me. They step off the craft, make note of the soil composition, and dutifully set up an experiment. To an amateur observer, it's incredible they didn't break down laughing, start
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Avery
A Man on the Moon, by Andrew Chaikin, is about the Apollo program, although it does expand on the Gemini program as well. But that description makes this book seem boring for anyone not already interested in space, while in reality it is so much more than that. Chaikin not only makes every individual mission memorable and interesting, but shows the astronauts not just as pilots, but as regular people. People who throw up in capsules when they return to Earth, people who make jokes when they ste ...more
Stephen
What is it like to step foot upon the moon? Barring the sudden rise of consumer-friendly lunar tourism, our best hope of finding out is to ask ask the men who have done, the twelve astronauts of the Apollo program's last four missions. Andrew Chaikin did just that, and based on lengthy interviews with not only the astronauts but their wives, various flight control officers, and engineers involved with the program, has produced a stellar history of the Apollo program.

Granted, it would be difficul
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G.d. Brennan
This book pulls the reader along with the force of a Saturn V as it eloquently recounts one of the most audacious adventures in the history of man.

With a journalist's eye for detail, Chaikin describes the difficult journeys to the moon and the harsh climate astronauts faced once there. He shows us the thoughts and fears of men riding a spacecraft so frail its hatch bulged outward from its own cabin pressure, then landing amidst moon dust so abrasive it wears the rubber handles off tools in a mat
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Nicholas Whyte
http://nhw.livejournal.com/614047.html[return][return]It concentrates almost exclusively on the crews of the nine space missions that actually went as far as the moon - the six landings, the two preparatory flights, and Apollo 13, the flight that failed. (Hey, I now remember reading Henry S.F. Cooper's 1973 book, The Flight that Failed, back when I was bout 11.) This means a certain narrowness of focus - although one does also get a sense (more than from the Neil Armstrong book) of the massive n ...more
Betsy
Feb 24, 2008 Betsy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs, fans of space travel, anyone unfamiliar with the Apollo program
Since I was born seven years after the successful Apollo One mission, my knowledge of the Apollo space program was minimal and basic. This book was riveting and exciting and transported me to another era. Chaikin does an excellent job not only of making the science of space travel understandable but also of putting the events of the Apollo space program into context of American history. This book is a bit of a Valentine to NASA, but it also rightly gives the individuals of the Apollo program the ...more
L.J.
Picked it up after 'The Right Stuff' by Wolfe and it really is a great book to follow up the masterfully written Mercury mission book. I like Chaikin's writing style and at times I get the sense that he is infleunced by Wolfe as there are moments I wonder if I am back in 'The Right Stuff' but there is more depth of knowledge and detail to Chaikin's book. What I enjoy is a true sense of the many difficulties that were playing out at the time of the Apollo missions. First the technical aspects of ...more
Michael Cody
I have owned a copy of this book for many years. Even though there are quite a few decent books on the moon missions, this one is one of the very best. Incredibly well researched it includes facts, stories and details found only in this book! Having grown up in this amazing time and living through this, these were my boyhood heroes! I highly recommend this and finish by saying it is one of my top 50 or so MUST read books!
LaDene Mayville
I loved the various stories of each of the Apollo missions and the courageous men who flew them. Some of the stories had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my cheeks; other stories were so gripping that I couldn't put the book down until I finished the chapter.
If you want to learn about the Apollo astronauts and the great team of supporters behind them, then get this book. You won't be disappointed.
Peter
I was always inspired by the remarkable achievement of the moon landings, but really knew little detail about them beyond the familiar names and events (Apollo 1, 11, 13...). Chaiken's book brought the astronauts to life and revealed the character of each particular mission, and so was very enlightening.

What's missing in this book I think are two interesting things. First, with the focus on stories of the astronauts I felt the book was a little thin on the technology that enabled the missions. H
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Being a space junkie I loved the HBO series, From Earth to the Moon about the Apollo Program that took American astronauts to the moon. I noted that the series was based primarily on this book by Chaikin and sought it out. I absolutely loved it. Yes, it probably does help to be a bit of a space nut, but if you are I find it impossible to believe you won't be fascinated. What struck me the most about what I read about the various missions is that there wasn't one without some kind of dangerous em ...more
John Cornes
A really excellent history of the events leading to, including, and closely following the space race. My only serious complaint is that the author throws around a lot of technical jargon as if the reader is already familiar with the terms. If you already know a little bit about the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo launch systems and technologies, you probably won't notice this, but given the painstaking detail that the author goes into to describe the inner workings and politics of NASA at the time, you wo ...more
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Andrew Chaikin: Author, Speaker, Space Historian

Award-winning science journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin has authored books and articles about space exploration and astronomy for more than 25 years. Writer-director and explorer James Cameron (Titanic, Aliens of the Deep) called him “our best historian of the space age.”

Chaikin is best known as the author of A Man on the Moon: The Voyag
...more
More about Andrew Chaikin...
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