This would probably be a decent introduction to the subject for a novice, but I ve read enough about the space program that there wasn t anything new to me in the discussion of the American program The Russian bits were interesting, but insufficiently in depth I guess I need to find a book focusing on that, instead. I have to admit this took me longer to read than it should have like 3 years I would read it in stops and starts always being interested in it, but finding it just a difficult read Finally I had to get myself to stop reading it like a textbook trying memorize facts and cull for details and just read it like a book Once I did that it went a lot quicker and was a lot enjoyable Although I ve watched a lot of specials on space and this time period in the space race, this book really does make everything clear and understandable to the non technical layperson I enjoyed understanding the roots and history of a lot of the technologies and think I could learn from this every time I would re read it. I was going to give this 3 stars, as it s not a bad, though short, overview of the space race, but then, on page 237, I read this Once in its new orbit, Apollo 11 followed a nearly circular path around the moon, an orbit averaging 60 miles above the lunar surface The transposition and docking of the LM followed, I wonder what other less glaring errors exist It s not worth a 2nd read to find out Skip this and read This New Ocean by William Burrows instead. It took me 3 days to finish this book The stories were mesmerizing and I didn t want to put the book down I m overall interested in space travel and I enjoyed all the detailed stories The book is good if you already know something of the topic but aren t an expert. Nothing earth shattering in here but does a good job of presenting a basic look at the U.S vs U.S.S.R battle for supremacy in space Lots of great photos as well Decent reference material for space enthusiasts. Interesting book about the space race Most of the American stuff wasn t really new to me, but the parts about the Soviet Union were really interesting. Overall I felt that the book, The Epic Rivalry , was a decent exposition of the events of the Space Race However, I do have some reservations about the book First, the introduction to the book seems to serve to not only introduce the book but explain why it is the way it is The book should explain that throughout its pages it should not have to be given an excuse by the authors Second, the book in the form at which I encountered it suffers at the outset from some choppy prose, which makes it hard to get started on what turns out to be an informative and interesting discussion of the Space Race Another problem with the first portion of the book is how long it takes to simply arrive at the first chapter in a 280 page book the first 30 should not be introduction, foreword and prologue Again it feels like the authors are providing too much setup when the books first chapter should serve as such.Third, is the tedious juxtaposition of the USSR vs US in the Space Race I would have found it palatable had the US been presented then the USSR presented with a few chapters in conclusion to compare the two Though the book adequately covers the history of the Space Race it is a bit awkward in its presentation Readers are forced to search for photos relevant to the chapters they are reading, the photos should be carefully integrated into the chapters in which they are relevant since the visuals trying to be evoked by the authors would often be improved with the addition of an actual picture Finally, I found the overall flow of this book was severely hampered by the features between the chapters, while informative and interesting they often move the reader off the progression of the books story rather then give them additional information, they may be better suited for being shortened and placed within the chapters themselves.As I said I did enjoy the book overall but it is far from the best book I have encountered in my desire to learn about the Space Race Frankly I have had dry and technical textbooks that grabbed my attention then this book If you are looking for a quick and easy read to learn about the Space Race I would not be able to recommend this book, unless all you care about is the comparison between the two programs with none of the background for the reasoning and origin of either paths of the programs. When Neil Armstrong And Buzz Aldrin Walked On The Moon In , They Personified An Almost Unimaginable Feat The Incredibly Complex Task Of Sending Humans Safely To Another Celestial Body This Extraordinary Odyssey, Which Grew From The Rivalry Between The United States And The Soviet Union During The Cold War, Was Galvanized By The Sputnik Launch In To Mark The Fiftieth Anniversary Of Sputnik, National Geographic Recaptures This Gripping Moment In The Human Experience With A Lively And Compelling New Account Written By Smithsonian Curator Von Hardesty And Researcher Gene Eisman, Epic Rivalry Tells The Story From Both The American And The Russian Points Of View, And Shows How Each Space Faring Nation Played A Vital Role In Stimulating The Work Of The Other Scores Of Rare, Unpublished, And Powerful Photographs Recall The Urgency And Technical Creativity Of Both Nations Efforts The Authors Recreate In Vivid Detail The Parallel Universes Of The Two Space Exploration Programs, With Visionaries Wernher Von Braun And Sergei Korolev And Political Leaders John F Kennedy And Nikita Khrushchev At The Epicenters The Conflict Between Countries, And The Tense Drama Of Their Independent Progress, Unfolds In Vivid Prose Approaching Its Subject From A Uniquely Balanced Perspective, This Important New Narrative Chronicles The Epic Race To The Moon And Back As It Has Never Been Told Before And Captures The Interest Of Casual Browsers And Science, Space, And History Enthusiasts Alike
Von Hardesty is currently a curator in the Division of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C He has written a number of books, and lives in the metropolitan D.C area.
- 304 pages
- Epic Rivalry: The Inside Story of the Soviet and American Space Race
- Von Hardesty
- 02 December 2019 Von Hardesty