Monday, July 30, 2018

Rocket Men

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon
by Robert Kurson
Random House, 2018. 372 pgs. Nonfiction

In 1968 the United States was losing the race to moon, an objective set by President Kennedy earlier in the decade.  Russia had reached several space milestones ahead of the U.S. space program and the pressure was mounting to pull ahead and reach the moon first.  This situation prompted NASA to make an unprecedented decision.  In just four months, they would send a crew to orbit the moon, a mission that many felt was too risky and maybe even years ahead of schedule.

The men chosen to fly this Apollo 8 mission were men of fierce resolve and unquestioned courage.  But along with their courage was the courage of those they left at home.  Wives, children, coworkers, and a host of NASA employees who would make the mission possible thanks to hard work, dedication, and a drive to prove that American resolve, determination, ingenuity would win the day.

For readers who enjoyed Boys in the Boat or Rocket Boys, Rocket Men is a wonderful recounting of a historic few months that many of the younger generation may not be aware of.  Older readers may be flooded with memories of that historic year and the national pride that was tied up in the space race.  Kurson spends a lot of his book with each of the men on the mission and their dedication to family and country.  An inspirational story filled with drama and adventure!


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