Dark Side of the Moon by Wayne Biddle
Wernher von Braun, the Third Reich, and the Space Race

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A stunning investigation of the roots of the first moon landing forty years ago.

This illuminating story of the dawn of the space age reaches back to the reactionary modernism of the Third Reich, using the life of “rocket scientist” Wernher von Braun as its narrative path through the crumbling of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazi regime. Von Braun, a blinkered opportunist who could apply only tunnel vision to his meteoric career, stands as an archetype of myriad twentieth century technologists who thrived under regimes of military secrecy and unlimited money. His seamless transformation from developer of the deadly V-2 ballistic missile for Hitler to an American celebrity as the supposed genius behind the golden years of the U.S. space program in the 1950s and 1960s raises haunting questions about the culture of the Cold War, the shared values of technology in totalitarian and democratic societies, and the imperatives of material progress.

About Wayne Biddle

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Wayne Biddle won a Pulitzer Prize for his New York Times reporting on the "Star Wars" anti-missile project. He has written three nonfiction books and is a member of the writing seminars faculty at the Johns Hopkins University. He lives near Baltimore, Maryland.
Published January 23, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 241 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Biddle (A Field Guide to the Invisible, 1998, etc.) recounts the early years of the quintessential "rocket scientist" and hero of America's 1960s race to the moon.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Dark Side of the Moon: Wernhe...

The New York Times

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A deeply skeptical biography of Wernher von Braun, a Nazi rocket scientist who later played a key role in NASA’s Apollo program.

Jan 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Dark Side of the Moon: Wernhe...

Publishers Weekly

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Biddle, a former New York Times reporter with a Pulitzer Prize to his credit, intertwines the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany with scientist Wernher von Braun an

Jul 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Dark Side of the Moon: Wernhe...

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