In the Shadow of the Moon: A Challenging Journey to Tranquility, 1965-1969

Overview


In the Shadow of the Moon tells the story of the most exciting and challenging years in spaceflight, with two superpowers engaged in a titanic struggle to land one of their own people on the moon. Drawing on interviews with astronauts, cosmonauts, their families, technicians, and scientists, as well as rarely seen Soviet and American government documents, the authors craft a remarkable story of the golden age of spaceflight as both an intimate human experience and a rollicking global adventure. From the Gemini ...
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Overview


In the Shadow of the Moon tells the story of the most exciting and challenging years in spaceflight, with two superpowers engaged in a titanic struggle to land one of their own people on the moon. Drawing on interviews with astronauts, cosmonauts, their families, technicians, and scientists, as well as rarely seen Soviet and American government documents, the authors craft a remarkable story of the golden age of spaceflight as both an intimate human experience and a rollicking global adventure. From the Gemini flights to the Soyuz space program to the earliest Apollo missions, including the legendary first moon landing, their book draws a richly detailed picture of the space race as an endeavor equally endowed with personal meaning and political significance.
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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE

“French and Burgess present a first-rate, detailed, and very personal account of the space race to the moon . . . . Strongly recommended both as a study of the social interactions among this unique group of people and as a gripping series of anecdotes that describe the exciting, dangerous steps behind the successful moon landing.”—CHOICE

— W.E. Howard III

PopMatters.com

"Authors Burgess and French are even-handed and equitable, and have done an excellent job in covering a vast expanse of material. . . . The opportunity to get the true stories from the astronauts themselves is a luxury that will sadly not be available forever, and In the Shadow of the Moon has done an excellent job in gathering and eliciting the stories of these men, not just the ''official reports,'' but the personal touches that render them more human. . . . The authors have a touch for weaving revealing and captivating personal narratives amidst the nuts-and-bolts space history."—Michael Patrick Brady, PopMatters.com

— Michael Patrick Brady

Liftoff

"This book has everything you ever wanted to know about the astronauts that paved the way for the first Moon landing. Rarely does one get the entire information of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programmes, encased in one book, about the men who entered the dangerous and untried realm of flying off the Earth."—Jeff Green, Liftoff

— Jeff Green

CHOICE - W.E. Howard III

“French and Burgess present a first-rate, detailed, and very personal account of the space race to the moon . . . . Strongly recommended both as a study of the social interactions among this unique group of people and as a gripping series of anecdotes that describe the exciting, dangerous steps behind the successful moon landing.”—CHOICE
PopMatters.com - Michael Patrick Brady

"Authors Burgess and French are even-handed and equitable, and have done an excellent job in covering a vast expanse of material. . . . The opportunity to get the true stories from the astronauts themselves is a luxury that will sadly not be available forever, and In the Shadow of the Moon has done an excellent job in gathering and eliciting the stories of these men, not just the 'official reports,' but the personal touches that render them more human. . . . The authors have a touch for weaving revealing and captivating personal narratives amidst the nuts-and-bolts space history."—Michael Patrick Brady, PopMatters.com
Liftoff - Jeff Green

"This book has everything you ever wanted to know about the astronauts that paved the way for the first Moon landing. Rarely does one get the entire information of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programmes, encased in one book, about the men who entered the dangerous and untried realm of flying off the Earth."—Jeff Green, Liftoff
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Francis French is the director of education at the San Diego Air and Space Museum and the coauthor with Colin Burgess of Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961–1965, available in a Bison Books edition. Colin Burgess is a former flight service director with Qantas Airways and the editor of Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969–1975 (Nebraska 2010). Walter Cunningham was a NASA astronaut from 1963 to 1971 and a crew member on the first manned Apollo flight.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2008

    A masterful addition to the legacy of space history

    French and Burgess have written a wonderful book with lots of vivid details. For example, I was captivated by reading Gene Cernan's account of the intense pain and difficulty he had during the his Gemini EVA. The vividness and suspense flows well. The editing is excellent. A must have book for any serious space history buff. From tragedy to triumphs, the space programs greatest moments were often in the shadow of the giants that made headlines. Tahir Rahman, author of We Came in Peace for all Mankind: the untold story of the Apollo 11 silicon disc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2008

    A Great Contribution to the History of Apollo

    In the Shadow of the Moon, the second volume in a history of the early space program, does not linger over much over the familier. It's main benefit is illuminating stories of the Gemini and Apollo projects that hitherto have been ignored or lightly touched on by other works. Where else can one see portraits of hitherto ignored astronauts like Donn Eisle or Bill Anders, both hitherto overshadowed by more famous crewmates like Walter Schirra or Jim Lovell?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2007

    An Opus Magnum

    I have now read both 'Into that Silent Sea' and ' In the Shadow of the Moon'. Undoubtedly the pair represent an opus magnum, especially as they are given added authority by the comments of the participants in the early attempts to conquer space. The detailed accounts of the flights and the biographies of the crews are clearly the result of deep research over, it seems, a period of decades. The two volumes are an historical landmark for future generations similar to our seeking sources of the current affairs in the time of the Venerable Bede. For those who have a deep knowledge of the subject, the resolving of the technical problems and the remarkable courage of the crews will be a constant fascination, of which you will undoubtedly always wish to recall. The books are very well and clearly written and the subject matter has been compiled in a most orderly manner. At no time did I have to wonder how the next aspect followed on from the former so even a complete novice to the material as myself could follow the trend, objectives and development of the technical programme and the building of the physical capabilities, experience and knowledge of the crews. In short I heartily congratulate on the dedicated research and the concentrated application to write two profoundly authentic volumes of the space programs over a most critical early period of eight years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2007

    A must read for the space race fan.

    In the Shadow of the Moon by Francis French and Colin Burgess is the next book in the Outward Odyssey series that started with the April 2007 release of their book Into That Silent Sea. That book has received high ratings not only from those who have read the book but also by those who lived it. Just take a look at the reviews left on this webpage for that book. The authors of these two books gained much of their information from first hand interviews given by the men and women of the early Space Program. In the Shadow of the Moon picks up the story of the Space Race right where Into That Silent Sea left off (although both can be read as separate, stand alone books) I like that the book has been written in chronological order. At first it might seem strange that the manned Gemini missions of Gemini 3 through Gemini 12 were detailed with out any chapters about the Russian flights but that is how it happened. The Russians flew no missions in the 20 months that the Americans were flying the Gemini Program. In Shadow of the Moon covers all of the Gemini Missions and the early Apollo Program as well as the Russian flights of the same timeline. The Gemini Program was a great success but only after some close calls and hard work were the Americans ready to move on to Apollo. But did they move too fast? Before I read this book I thought the best account of the Apollo 1 fire was from Jim Lovell¿s Lost Moon but I must say that French and Burgess have a more detailed account of the fire. The loss of the Apollo 1 is covered in the chapter titled The Risk Stuff. After detailing the events of that evening French and Burgess let others who were there tell their stories. Those people include Robert Stevenson. Robert was one of the last people to have contact with the Apollo 1 crew. Others that share their accounts of that night include Dee O¿Hara, Hank Waddell, Sam Beddingfield, Gerald Griffin, Gene Kranz, Paul Haney, Jack King, Don Gregory, Richard Gordon, and Lola Morrow. Their accounts are one of the most touching parts of this book. The Russians were not without their own setbacks. Soyuz 1 tragedy was as big of a setback for the Russians as NASA¿s Apollo 1 fire but new details of the Soyuz 1 flight are brought forth in In The Shadow of the Moon. Many people feel the lessons learned by the Apollo 1 fire saved the lives of other astronauts and in a way Komarov¿s sacrifice also saved the lives of at least three other Russian cosmonauts. The book also lays to rest some myths of that Soyuz flight. The flight of Apollo 7 has become known as the flight where the astronauts and Mission Control did not work together as a team but there was much more to that flight. Yes there was some tension between the spaceship and Mission Control but the chapter on Apollo 7 focuses more on how the crew and flight controllers worked together. It also gives a great insight to how the crew felt after being told they had a flight, and then did not have a flight, only to learn they were to fly the first mission after the Apollo 1 fire. Pressure was on this crew to perform and save the Apollo Program. The chapter on Apollo 7 also reveals the life of Donn Eisele. Donn has often been called Mr. Whatshisname but after reading this book you will know who Donn was. In The Shadow of the Moon also tells the life stories of some of astronauts that passed away before they had the chance to tell their own stories. Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives that day. While Betty Grissom and Donald Chaffee wrote books about these men I don¿t remember reading a book written by a family member of Ed White. This book will help you understand just who Ed White was. And it tells the history of those who would rather not write a book themselves. Those include Jim McDivitt, Bill Anders, and Rusty Schweickart. I especially liked the chapter on Apollo 8. It is mostly written from Bill Ander¿s perspective. Jim Lovell and Frank Borman have written t

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2007

    An Outstanding Read!

    I'm on the last few pages of the book and I must say I hate to see it end! In particular, I thought the Gemini section was brilliant! Along with quite a few missing links from otherwise well-documented tales, what I really enjoyed were the unique and exclusive comments from some of the astronauts who flew the missions, especially those of Stafford and Cernan. This not only lends credibility to the book, but it also brings the reader to the 'inside' of the stories. I've always felt that Donn Eisele was sort of The Invisible Man on Apollo 7 because so little has been written about him. But now, I have a much more complete picture of his personality, his domestic challenges, his professional aptitude, etc. Donn's a complete member of the crew in my mind now! I thought Walt Cunningham's comments were extremely helpful by providing the reader with an insider's view of key events surrounding the Apollo 7 mission. This book really goes a long way in quenching the thirst for those of us who are 'space literate', but I can see where it would fun to read and informative for those who wouldn't know Neil Armstrong from Lance Armstrong. Lastly, the authors never let us forget that there were real human beings flying in those spacecraft not robots programed to perform their tasks until their batteries died. To me, that is probably one of the key things that makes this book special.

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