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Sputnik: The Launch of the Space Race
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Sputnik: The Launch of the Space Race

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  7 reviews
On October 4, 1957 as Leave It to Beaver premiered on American television, the Soviet Union launched the first man-made object into space, an 84-kilogram satellite carrying only a radio transmitter. While Sputnik immediately shocked the world, its long-term impact was even greater, for it profoundly changed the shape of the twentieth Century.

Washington journalist Paul Dick...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 25th 2001 by MacFarlane Walter & Ross
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David R.
Dickson's mission is to explain to modern audiences how the launch of the USSR's "Sputnik 1" in October 1957 impacted the American psyche. There's definitely some historical narrative reaching as far back as Tsiolkovsky and Goddard and to the opening acts of the manned space program. There's a great deal more matter on the intrigues of the early space program largely involving the camp of Wernher von Braun on one side and the Eisenhower Administration on the other. And it is this arena where Dic...more
This book did an excellent job of capturing both the excitement and fear that the launch of Sputnik brought to America in the autumn of 1957. It provides a solid background history on the rocket and how the idea of the satellite blossomed in the early 20th century. But what really makes this book is its explanation of what both the short and long-term consequences of Sputnik were on our politics, culture, education, technology, and economy were. When you read this you realize how amazing some of...more
I'm reading this book to lead a book discussion group at Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology in Kansas City, MO. This is a well-written account of the beginning of the Space Age. Paul Dickson ties into social and cultural events as well, presenting new ways of thinking about the impact of Sputnik and the early American space program (pre-NASA).
David Perkins
An excellent read, full of wonderful details that accompanied the true beginning of the Space Age, including the relevant history up to Sputnik's launch, the people behind the scenes, and the amazing global events that followed.
David Guretzki
The book is a good narrative of the space race more generally, but in reality the attention given to Sputnik itself amounts to maybe only a third of the book.
So much to learn in this book! I'd never understood the extent to which the Cold War 'space race' and 'arms race' were indistinguishable.
Skip Heller
So far, I'm riveted.
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Paul Dickson is the author of more than 45 nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles. Although he has written on a variety of subjects from ice cream to kite flying to electronic warfare, he now concentrates on writing about the American language, baseball and 20th century history.

Dickson, born in Yonkers, NY, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1961 and was honored as a Distinguished A...more
More about Paul Dickson...
Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: The Etiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime The Bonus Army: An American Epic The Hidden Language of Baseball

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