Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon

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Penguin, Jun 25, 2009 - History - 416 pages
9 Reviews
Read Craig Nelson's posts on the Penguin Blog.

"Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride."
-The Wall Street Journal

Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - thoughtbox - LibraryThing

I wanted badly to like this book. It's about the nerdiest of nerds, guys who literally wore pocket protectors and carried around slide rules, and yet managed to land a dozen human beings on a rock ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stevesmits - LibraryThing

Straight forward history of the space program. Not too much on Mercury and Gemini. Covers the early years (post WWII) when the Von Braun and his Germans were getting things started. Most of the focus ... Read full review


1 Behemoth
3 Anything but What He Is
4 The Sons of Galileo
5 Mr Cool Stone
6 Dont Eat Toads
7 A Way to Talk to God
8 How the Pyramids Were Built
9 Total Cold War
12 The Transfiguration
13 The Great Black Sea
15 The Eagle Has Wings
17 Mr President the Eagle Has Landed
18 To Rediscover Childhood
19 A Tenuous Grasp
20 We Missed the Whole Thing
21 Through You We Touched the Moon

10 The Bluff at Noblemans Grave
11 The Fluid Front
22 When All Those Curves Lined Up

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About the author (2009)

Craig Nelson is the author of four previous books, including The First Heroes and Let's Get Lost. His writings have appeared in Salon, The New England Review, Blender, Genre, and a host of other publications. He was an editor at HarperCollins, Hyperion, and Random House for almost twenty years and has been profiled by Variety, Interview, Manhattan, Inc., and Time Out.

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