Upom's Reviews > Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon

Rocket Men by Craig Nelson
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's review
Jan 03, 11

bookshelves: history, science, space, physics, astronauts, rockets, nonfiction
Read from December 26, 2010 to January 02, 2011

The space race was probably one of the most fascinating periods in American history. It was a time the U.S. came together to do something both literally and figuratively out of this world. But because of political polarization, detente, and poor PR on the part of NASA and scientists alike, nothing like the space race has happened since. "Rocket Men" does a great job of chronicling this forgotten time. Covering everything from the origins of rockets to the end of the Apollo program, Nelson shows the personalities and working of the 1950-1970 U.S. space program that put a man on the moon. Full of interviews, interesting facts, and entertaining anecdotes, the book shows how politics and technology came together to push the program forward. The book really covers some interesting territory, including the effects of fame and accomplishment on the men who went to the moon. The book was not perfect, however. Nelson ordered the events in a way that felt awkward to me. He also used a lot of block quotes form interviews that often felt like they didn't really support his points all that well. I also wish the book was a little more comprehensive, as the author glossed over or totally skipped many of the Apollo missions and the Gemini program. Nonetheless, this book really did a good job of showing that if it can get past its squabbling and it's infighting, America can do some really amazing things.

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