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The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution
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The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Using interviews with and writings by 30 astronauts and cosmonauts, Frank White shows how experiences such as circling the Earth every 90 minutes and viewing it from the moon have profoundly affected our space travelers' perceptions of themselves, their world, and the future. He shows how the rest of us, who have participated imaginatively in these great adventures, have ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 326 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics) (first published November 1st 1987)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  51 ratings  ·  6 reviews

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Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Comparisons to the establishment of the American Frontier & the Founding Fathers made me a little uncomfortable while reading this, reading as over-patriotic and trite. Overall, however, I loved the idea that by continuing to employ our curiosity (pun intended), research and exploration will lead us to understand that we need not be so Earth-centric. While not a solid argument for why space exploration matters & should continue to be a priority, I did find this to set some good ...more
Josh Voss
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book and the new planetary and solar perspectives it opened before my eyes. I found these new perspectives truly valuable. Many parts of the book were also stimulating and page turning, but some were a little repetitive and procedural. All in all a very worthy read, if a little hard to finish certain chapters.
Peter Tillman
Aug 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Speaking plainly, this is a wretched book. White's commentary is dull, pretentious and stupefyingly repetitious. The snippets of interviews with astronauts are short, scattershot and basically worthless. The book was inexplicably recommended by [the late] Lynn Margulis, which is why I tried it. Avoid, avoid!

Truth in reviewing: I didn't come close to finishing this turkey. Trust me, you don't even want to start it.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is good for its (currently) unique content: personal accounts from people who have gone into space of their experience. The speculative parts were somewhat interesting to chew on, but lacking. It wasn't clear how much thought really went into those speculations - that section came off more as a one-time idea than the result of careful thought.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
liked the new ideas and insights based on real accounts.
did not like the repetitive writing style
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Earth is a spaceship; there are no passengers, we are all crew.

The lucky few that have seen our planet from orbit realize this deeply, their descriptions in the book convey the concept exceptionally.
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