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Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America into the Space Age

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  40 reviews
JFK issued the historic moon landing challenge. These are the stories of the visionaries who helped America complete his vision with the first lunar landing fifty years ago.

A Companion Book to the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Film on PBS

Going in depth to explore their stories beyond the PBS series, writer/producer Robert Stone—called “one of our most important documentary
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Kindle Edition, 343 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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Barry Davidoff
Of the many books issued for the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11, Robert Stone's book misses. There are numerous errors throughout the tome and many of the footnotes are ambiguous and from dubious sources.
The author fails to bring any real research or insights into his history of the space program. Rather than making the space race exciting, he retells the threads of familiar themes. From a historiogarphical view, he approaches the subject with a second decade of the 21st century view rather
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Lynn
A wide ranging overview of the US space program of the 60s-70s. Mixing the space program with background information from the time period it packs a nice punch. The author has a background of documentary filmmaking so he is especially sensitive to the films, photos and video created during the program. This book is the partner to the American Experience PBS episode of the same name. Can’t wait to see!
Micah Scelsi
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helps enlighten readers as to the why doing something as audacious as landing a man on the Moon was done when it was. Certainly technology played a role, and the authors trace the technological roots to World War II German scientists, and how the became prominent workers within America's space program.

The other ingredient was a political environment that allowed such a long-term program. Here we find leaders at high levels encouraging such risk. Further, competition against the
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Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America Into the Space Age by Robert Stone and Alan Andres a non-fiction book looking back at the thinkers, dreamers, and futurists that help envision American’s space program. This book is a companion book to the PBS’ American Experience.

I have not seen PBS’ American Experience and did not realize this was a companion book until well into it. At
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Realms & Robots
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chasing the Moon is a well-researched account of humanity’s journey to the Moon and its long history. Through an astute attention to detail and a large collection of historic imagery, this full story of the space age demands to be read.

This is a deeply researched account of the history of rocket science and the many figures necessary to get a man to the Moon. We see the early days in Russia and Germany, fueled by propaganda and popular culture until extremist politics and war took over. We see
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Jack Cheng
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a moon obsessive, but I have read (and enjoyed) a lot of books about NASA and the Apollo program. This new entry, the companion to a multipart PBS special, does something different from The Right Stuff, or Chaiken's A Man on the Moon (incidentally still the best book on the Apollo program).

Chasing the Moon is a cultural history. So all the rocketry and some of the astronauts are in there, but it starts with Arthur C Clarke and various writers imagining spaceflight. Then, throughout the
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Erin
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chasing the Moon was a very thorough, well-researched book about what it took to get the United States onto the moon. While a bit dry at times, this gave a ton of relevant information, especially about the political climate both here in the US and around the rest of the world during the race to space, especially between the US and Russia, but it also included (albeit briefly) information about political unrest in Europe and Africa, as well.

Other important issues that the authors touched on was
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Chris Waraksa
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Book presents a straightforward history of he race to the moon. I found the chapter on 1969 particularly interesting. Among the interesting tidbits that I didn't know was the fact that Nixon was very enthusiastic about the Apollo 11 landing, as was America in general, and that he identified with the self-made histories of the astronauts. The US sent them on a presidential 707 to visit over 20 countries on a victory tour. NASA was criticised for how white NASA was and one moment had Neil ...more
Jenni V.
I haven't seen the documentary but I think I may have liked it more than the book - I kept stopping to look up footage or photos of what they were talking about so having it all laid out for me would've been easier. I actually feel pretty silly now that I'm typing it out that I didn't just watch the documentary once I started down the rabbit hole of YouTube clips.

It was very well-researched. As with most non-fiction books my interest came and went depending on how interested I was in the
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Joan
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, a companion piece to the PBS "American Experience" film of the same name, expands on the televised program as it tells the stories of visionaries using both eyewitness accounts and newly-discovered archival material. In investigating those who inspired President Kennedy’s 1961 pronouncement of landing a man on the moon before the close of the decade, “Chasing the Moon” looks not only at the work of scientists and engineers but also at the dreams of science fiction writers and ...more
Suze
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
On July 16, 1969 (my birthday!) Apollo 11 rocketed toward the moon, and I still remember where I was as I listened to Neil Armstrong say his famous, slightly botched, first words as he set foot on the moon four days later. It was unreal to me – the stuff of science fiction. And, yes, some science fiction writers such as Sir Arthur C. Clarke figure prominently.
Chasing the Moon is an overview account of all the people and the steps leading up to that goal, starting about a century earlier. And
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Casey Wheeler
This is one of many books on the space race of the 1960's due to the anniversary in July of the first manned moon landing. While it is a companion book for a television series, it is well written and researched. The authors writing style make it an interesting read. While not as detailed as others on the subject that I have read (including books on specific space flights), it provides a good overview for those interested in the subject.

I recomend this book for those looking for more information
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Kristin Bernazard
When I first started reading Chasing the Moon no one was more surprised than my husband, as space talk generally bores me but with the 50th year anniversary of the moon landing it sparked my interest in something I really knew little about (I was born in 1987). This book was perfect for me, as it delved into some of the logistics of space travel while capturing the personalities behind it, the politics, the fight for racial and gender equality, television networks, and of course the Soviet ...more
Kam Gardner
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating look into the history of the space race. The book starts long before the race to the moon, and delved into many aspects of the history of it, including the influence that some science fiction writers had, and the many German scientists who ended up in the US after WWII.

It moves from one part to another, and covers many people, including Arthur C. Clarke and Wernher von Braun, and places that had a part in it, such as the US, Germany, and Russia. There were many things I
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Raj Agrawal
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unique approach to the history of humanity’s pursuit of the moon landing, against the background of humanity’s complexity — politics, naziism, social change, racism, sexuality, and many other aspects that bring this well-known story to life. I found myself weaving in and out of sorrow and joy as I read through this phenomenal retelling. Great feats are never as clean as the myths we like to tell, and these authors present us with a version of the pursuit of the moon that shows the reader that ...more
Phil
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Nothing grabs my attention more than Space and this one does not disappoint! The detailed information was rewarding and compared to other novels: The Right Stuff, Moon Shot, Appollo 13 and others stands it's own.

The Space Age made America feel proud of the accomplishments, however the pundits citing the cost and how that could be going to the needy and disadvantage was rightfully told. Want to screw up a good thing just get politics involved and people only seeking to make a name for
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djcb
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book on the people & politics that put men on the moon in 1969.

It goes into the backgrounds of early pioneers like Oberth, Tsiolkovsky and Goddard, via Wernher von Braun and his V2s to the Space-Race between the US and the USSR. We get a bit of insight into the early astronauts; and the book discusses how the space program interacted with the Civil Rights movements, which I found very interesting.

Enjoyable.
Mark Easter
Interesting read and a great overview of the space program through the Apollo period. Having lived through and been very interested in this whole endeavor, I greatly appreciate both the detail and the context that I was able to pin points in my life to. Unexpectedly, I never saw so clearly the self-centeredness of politicians and media people were as prevalent during these decades as now. It is just more "in our face" now.
Jamie Bowen
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A fascinating book on the Space Race and celebrating Apollo 11’s landing on the moon. This book, whilst not massively detailed, is a companion book to the forthcoming BBC series. The book looks at the origins of man’s quest to land on the moon, and then the race between America and the U.S.S.R. to be the leading super power in space. There were some interesting facts which I wasn’t aware of which makes this book not just a simple rehash of what most people know.
Asger Torning
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading books that gives me new insight or information. This brilliant book does that, adding information about the race to the moon to what I already knew and enlightening me on NASA's Apollo missions and everything that went before them. I recommend this book to all those who, like me, dreamed of becoming an astronaut and walk on the moon when watching the Apollo missions in the 1960's
H.S. Contino
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book discusses fascinating topics and a remarkable time in history. Unfortunately, the writing style and the presentation of the information is incredibly dull. (I also spotted several distracting typos and misprints).
Jan
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For persons wanting to know more about the space race and the United States mission to land on the moon, this is an excellent book to read. I grew up during the "Space Race," but I learned a lot more about the first landing on the moon from this book.
Timothy
Sanitized and overdramatised account of the Space Race. Created as a companion to the PBS docu-series the book can be at times hagiographic. If you have not read anything on the events leading to the Apollo moon landing this is a fine place to start (but not finish).
Tina
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Companion piece to the documentary of the same title which I highly recommend. This book details much of how we got men of the moon, and historical picture of what was happening during that time frame.
Kas
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book detailing the success and failures of the race to be first on the moon, lots of information and insight which made the book more readable.
Steve
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Succinct, well-written history of the space race in the 1960, which due to my extreme old age, I can remember virtually all the events.
Neil McGee
Very very informative of a time 50+ years later.

Really enjoyed and am greatful to have read about a time before my birth.
Jay Gabler
Thank you Random House for the free book. Chasing the Moon turns a welcome eye to intersections between the '60s space race and the decade's broader tumult.
Bethia
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost more than a person would ever want to know about the space program, but very interesting nonetheless!
Patrick
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A concise and well written history of the incredible American space programme. The only thing I wish for is some reference to the African American scientists who worked behind the scenes.
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