Rocket Men by Robert Kurson
The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon

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“Rocket Men” is a fascinating reminder of just what mankind can do when we set our collective minds to something...From meticulous research and hours of interviews springs a lively narrative, one that brings the bravery and brainpower of all involved to vivid life.
-The Maine Edge

Synopsis

The riveting inside story of three heroic astronauts who took on the challenge of mankind’s historic first mission to the Moon, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers.

“Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian and Artemis

By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.

In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.

Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and arrive at a new world.

Praise for Rocket Men

“In 1968 we sent men to the Moon. They didn’t leave boot prints, but it was the first time humans ever left Earth for another destination. That mission was Apollo 8. And Rocket Men, under Robert Kurson’s compelling narrative, is that under-told story.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson

Rocket Men is a timely and thrilling reminder of a heroic American achievement—three dashing astronauts and the first rendezvous with the Moon. It has it all—suspense, drama, risk, and loving families. We could use those days again.”—Tom Brokaw
 

About Robert Kurson

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ROBERT KURSON earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, then a law degree from Harvard Law School. After working as a features reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago magazine, he moved to Esquire as as a contributing editor. His award-winning stories have also appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He lives in the Chicago suburbs and can be reached via the Internet at www.robertkurson.com.
 
Published April 3, 2018 by Random House. 357 pages
Genres: History, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Rocket Men
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Jan 23 2018

...Kurson strains to generate suspense, and space buffs will quickly realize that this is a journalistic account aimed at a mass audience (clue: the astronauts’ courtships and family lives receive prominent attention).

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Dear Author

Good
Reviewed by Jayne on Apr 04 2018

Not having read any of your other books, I wasn’t sure if I’d get a tech heavy and dry story. Well, it was fascinating and a book that almost read itself.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by M. G. Lord on May 15 2018

If “Rocket Men” has a minor shortcoming, it is a sin of omission...But because this gripping book will acquaint new people with the space program, I wish he had touched on the program’s paradoxes and ethical complexity.

Read Full Review of Rocket Men: The Daring Odysse... | See more reviews from NY Times

The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Apr 10 2018

“Rocket Men” is a fascinating reminder of just what mankind can do when we set our collective minds to something...From meticulous research and hours of interviews springs a lively narrative, one that brings the bravery and brainpower of all involved to vivid life.

Read Full Review of Rocket Men: The Daring Odysse...

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