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Rocket MenInations of MLK and RFK the Chicago DNC riots the Apollo mission was the boldest test of what America could do With a focus on astronauts Frank Borman Jim Lovell and Bill Anders and their wives and children this is a vivid gripping you are there narrative that shows anew the epic danger involved and the singular bravery it took for man to leave Earth for the first time and to arrive at a new worl. How is it even possible to make a book about space that I don't love Here are some ways Continuous unrepentant use of idioms and clichés If you're uoting someone or deliberately reflecting the patterns of speech of your subjects think Tom Wolfe in The Right Stuff that's one thing If you're reaching for the easiest phrase in the phrasebook that's lazy This was definitely not the former Indistinguishable voices Every line of this book felt uniform in tone and pattern This doesn't ever happen in real life and I always notice when I'm fifty or a hundred pages into a book and can't even remember which character said which line in a dialogue because they all sound identical and have done so throughout Invisible research This is ostensibly a book documenting actual things which happened In space And yet I was about a uarter of the way in before I found the first evidence of research uotation marks block uotes footnotes asterisks end note citations lines like in early interviews x was prone to saying y And there were only a handful of moments throughout this book's hundreds of collective pages when Kurson made reference to documentation I literally had no clue that this book was based on interviews until I read the author's note at the very end of the book I received an early copy so there were no appendices or indices or end matter other than that note so there might be to find in future finished editions HOWEVER It won't ever be enough to salvage the book from its lack of internal cues throughout And it bothers me that Kurson adopted a journalist's supposedly objective reporting voice for conveying the internal feelings of people who have long since died and never recorded their feelings about these events in public And just like the dialogue these italicized internal thoughts felt uniform They felt like Kurson's voice It felt like a lie every time Poor Susan Kurson was clearly interested in developing her character and he repeatedly REPEATEDLY notes how much Frank loves her And I really think there probably is something fascinating about her but her development of Alzheimer's means that she was not able to contribute her own thoughts and feelings to this book Which means that every line and thought attributed to her struck me as you guessed it artificial As projections of Kurson's own thoughts and feelings Telling not showing I honestly can't remember a single evocative image from this book It consists of hundreds of pages of Kurson telling his readers that things happened without him conveying or evoking the emotion of those moments If you're not going to saturate your book with research or are going to base it entirely upon personal interviews conveyed anecdotally and without confirmation and you're not going to try and impress upon your readers the experience of the moment what's left You're not a McCullough or a Wolfe obviously If I'd had a hand in editing this book I would have recommended trimming the summarizing waaaaay back and finding a compelling through line This book has no narrative heart It's technically correct in many ways but always tediousI read sections of this book aloud to my roomies while at a graduate course intensive They found it reductive in its approach to women and the idiomsclichés frustrating to parse

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Moon was in jeopardy and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race By August with its back against the wall NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens With just four months to prepare a fraction of the normal time the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon In a year of historic violence and discord the Tet offensive the assass. I went into this book with hesitation—spacecraft and rockets are not my usual cup of tea Understanding so little about them I feared I would either be bored stiff or totally lost confused by technical terms that would go over my head I was neither bored nor confused The book is directed toward the layman and SO exciting you simply do not want to put it down Give the book a bit of time Don’t even consider dropping the book until December 21 1968 and the launching of the rocket During the Apollo 8 mission you are there in the command module with the astronauts Frank Borman James Lovell and William Anders I was told by friends the book was so very good because you intimately come to know the three men their wives and families This is true and you do get to know them all well but this is absolutely NOT what made the book special for me It was being there myself in the module seeing what they saw experiencing what they experienced; the book put me there Only a talented writer can pull this off Robert Kurson pulls this off here You need not pick yourself up and go to a movie just sit yourself down in a chair and read the book ExceptI am very glad to have not experienced some of the horrible things they had to go through Armchair travel is my preferred choice of travelThe book focuses primarily on Apollo 8 both the earlier and subseuent Apollo missions are covered too but with less depth The earlier fill in the background and the latter gives readers information about what happened to the program the men had given their hearts and souls to An epilog states what followed in the lives of the three astronauts and their wives after Apollo 8 Why the wives Because in the telling we have learned the extent to which they have supported their husbands We have come to know the values and priorities of each astronaut as well as the family dynamics of each So why is the focus on Apollo 8 and not Apollo 11 It was the Apollo 11 spaceflight that first put humans actually on the moon Apollo 8 was the breakthrough mission It was the mission that proved getting to the moon was in fact possible It was the mission that orbited men around the moon and got them back to the earth safely It proved that American technology was the world’s best and it proved this during the Cold War when Russia and the US were fighting for hegemony It gave hope to a nation struggling with dissent The Vietnam War was in full swing the Democratic Convention in Chicago had broken out in riots and both John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr had been assassinated The space race had started and with Sputnik and the Russian satellite orbiting Laika around the earth all believed Russia was in the lead Apollo 8 proved this to be wrong I have drawn off a star for the extreme nationalistic and patriotic tone of the book I do not share such views Back in the 1960s I was one of the dissenters The patriotism of Frank Borman and the author’s clearly supportive attitude of such thinking is not to my likingThe author’s note at the book’s end details the extensive research that lies behind the writing of this book The astronauts and two of the three wives were interviewed The author met with the third wife but having Alzheimer’s she could not be lengthily interviewed Frank Borman and James Lovell both eighty seven years of age and William Anders eighty three years of age were fully cogent and very willing to speak with the author Chris Kraft ninety one years of age the head officer of the mission was interviewed too The web based flight journal of Apollo 8 as well as other sources material are sitedThe author reads the author’s note at the book’s end Otherwise it is Ray Porter who narrates the audiobook Every word he speaks is clear and distinct The pacing is perfect He gives and absolutely excellent narration A rating of a whopping five stars is what I have given the audiobook narration Yep this was definitely worth reading despite my hesitationRocket Men The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon 4 starsShadow Divers 3 starsPirate Hunters Treasure Obsession and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship TBR

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FREE READ ´ Rocket Men µ [Reading] ➱ Rocket Men ➹ Robert Kurson – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk The inside lesser known story of NASA's boldest and riskiest mission Apollo 8 mankind's first journey to the Moon on Christmas in 1968 A riveting account of three heroic astronauts who took one of the The inside lesser known story of NASA's boldest anThe inside lesser known story of NASA's boldest and riskiest mission Apollo mankind's first journey to the Moon on Christmas in A riveting account of three heroic astronauts who took one of the most dangerous space flights ever from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers In early the Apollo program was on shaky footing President Kennedy's end of decade deadline to put a man on the. I don’t read very many nonfiction books and I haven’t listened to many audiobooks but I’m sure that this one will remain one of my favorites in both categories Before I listened to this book when I thought of space missions and the moon I thought of the moon landing and Apollo 11 the planting of the American flag Neil Armstrong’s comment “one giant step for mankind” While I remember Apollo 8 I had no idea of it’s importance in laying the groundwork for future missions While I always thought that astronauts as a group were brave I never really thought about their individual stories their personalities the affect on their families especially their spouses the intense training or what went into preparing for their mission Even though I knew the efforts of NASA to prepare plan build test and manage from mission control had to be enormous I never gave it a lot of thought I didn’t think a lot about the historical context of these space missions All of that changed in such an impactful way for me while listening to this absolutely amazing accountI was captivated by the intimate look that I got of the crew Frank Borman Jim Lovell and Bill Anders how they grew up and became astronauts how they met and fell in love with their wives how their wives were impacted by what their husbands were doing the sacrifice of family time The wives of these men deserve a lot of credit and are heroes in their own right Their personal stories are moving I was on the edge of my seat as Kurson so skillfully gave me “a sense of being there” I was surprised that some of the technical and scientific parts were made understandable and interesting and amazed at the scope of things that went into making decisions The way the mission is brought into historical context is simply stunning I hung on every word as the picture is painted of a fractured time in American history with events that I remember the race to space with Russia John Kennedy’s dream of landing on the moon the Vietnam war civil rights protests race riots demonstrations in Chicago unrest in the country the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King This book doesn’t just tell us about Apollo 8 it tells the story of our nation in 1968I loved the Epilogue finding out what the crew did afterwards and where they were in their lives at the time of the 50th anniversary of the mission I very much appreciated the author’s note in his own voice how he was inspired to write this book Kurson’s research is extensive including time spent with Borman Lovell Anders people from NASA reading a multitude of documents watching videos and so much This is a story of extraordinary men and their families an extraordinary event in history The narration by Ray Porter is absolutely wonderful Thanks to my Goodreads friend and book buddy Diane S whose terrific review led me to this book