Since this is an audio book, I don’t know how it is organized...I assume there are 3 parts. If so...
Part I. Lead up to Apollo 11 taking off. 4 stars.
Part II Back history on all things rockets and the Cold War. US, Germany and USSR.
In this part, the author hasn’t met a list he doesn’t like. This section could be shortened by a third, if his editor cuts his lists. Easy to skim while reading the book, tougher to listen to. The author also likes long quotations and is a long poem needed? And then this part gets bogged down with data and technical information. This was also NOT in chronological order, so the back and forth of decades wasn’t smooth. 1 star.
Part III. Fantastic. Launch and what happened after Apollo 11 took off. Solid 5 stars.
I enjoyed the narrative, and the plethora of long quotes from participants of the Apollo 11 mission and some of the rocket scientists who made it possible. I continue to be amazed at the sheer gumption that took NASA from rockets failing on the pad to the creation of a tiny oasis that carried three men through the vacuum to the moon and back home again. In this divided time, I almost long for the shared national vision and sense of wonder that they all must have felt, even if it was ultimately only a manifestation of the Cold War. Only three stars because I found out, quite by accident, that the book is riddled with tiny errors of the esoteric variety that only true aficionados would notice. I didn't hear anything that I knew to be wrong, but knowing they were there ruined a little of my enjoyment.
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