Rocket Man by David A. Clary
Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age

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More famous in his day than Einstein or Edison, the troubled, solitary genius Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) was the American father of rocketry and space flight, launching the world's first liquid-fuel rockets and the first powered vehicles to break the sound barrier. Supported by Charles Lindbergh and Harry Guggenheim, through fiery, often explosive, experiments at Roswell, New Mexico, he invented the methods that carried men to the moon. Today, no rocket or jet plane can fly without using his inventions.

Yet he is the "forgotten man" of the space age. His own government ignored his rocketry until the Germans demonstrated its principles in the V-2 missiles of World War II. The American government usurped his 214 patents, while suppressing his contributions in the name of national security, until it was forced to pay one million dollars for patent infringement. Goddard became famous again, monuments and medals raining upon his memory. But his renewed fame soon faded, and Goddard's pivotal role in launching the Space Age has been largely forgotten.

About David A. Clary

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David A. Clary is the author of Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship That Saved the Revolution; Rocket Man; and most recently Eagles and Empire: The United States, Mexico, and the Struggle for a Continent. Clary is the former Chief Historian of the U. S. Forest Service, has taught history at the university level, and lives in Roswell, New Mexico, with his wife, Beatriz.
Published August 6, 2003 by Hachette Books. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Arts & Photography, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Nevertheless, readers who come to this generally well-written biography with some knowledge of Goddard's significance will find much of interest to fill out their knowledge of this complex and fascinating scientist for whom NASA's Goddard Space Center is named.

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