Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space

Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space

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by Eugene Cernan, Donald A. Davis
     
 

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Eugene Cernan was an astronaut throughout the storied Apollo program, and in The Last Man on the Moon , he recalls those exciting and turbulent days. From the tragic deaths incurred in the accident that struck Apollo 1 to Apollo 10's pioneering trip to the dark side of the moon, Apollo 11's pioneering moon walks, and the final (to date) footprints -- placedSee more details below

Overview

Eugene Cernan was an astronaut throughout the storied Apollo program, and in The Last Man on the Moon , he recalls those exciting and turbulent days. From the tragic deaths incurred in the accident that struck Apollo 1 to Apollo 10's pioneering trip to the dark side of the moon, Apollo 11's pioneering moon walks, and the final (to date) footprints -- placed there by Cernan himself -- on the moon's surface, it's all here, recalled by one of the men who witnessed it all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an exciting, insider's take on what it was like to become one of the first humans in space."

—Publishers Weekly

"Eugene Cernan offers unique insight...[he's] experienced it all"

African Sun Times

"A fascinating book...Cernan pulls few punches."

Charlotte Observer

"Refreshingly told...written as though it's been days since he went to space, not decades."

St. Petersburg Times

"[with] thrilling highlights, this is a book not just about space flight but also about the often brutal competition that went on between the US and the Soviet Union."

Washington Times

"With the feel of a story recalled among friends, this is an appealingly down to earth account from the last man to walk on the moon. No advanced physics, no scientific mumbo-jumbo. Just a thoroughly engrossing recollection of Cernan's crucial role in the conquest of space. I loved the book."

—Ron Howard, Director, Apollo 13

"I know the American people will learn a great deal from this book. I hope they learn a lot more about astronaut Gene Cernan, my friend, a man of courage and dedication."

President George Bush

African Sun Times

Eugene Cernan offers unique insight...[he's] experienced it all
Charlotte Observer

A fascinating book...Cernan pulls few punches.
St. Petersburg Times

Refreshingly told...written as though it's been days since he went to space, not decades.
Washington Times

[with] thrilling highlights, this is a book not just about space flight but also about the often brutal competition that went on between the US and the Soviet Union.
Ron Howard

With the feel of a story recalled among friends, this is an appealingly down to earth account from the last man to walk on the moon. No advanced physics, no scientific mumbo-jumbo. Just a thoroughly engrossing recollection of Cernan's crucial role in the conquest of space. I loved the book.
President George Bush

I know the American people will learn a great deal from this book. I hope they learn a lot more about astronaut Gene Cernan, my friend, a man of courage and dedication.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gemini and Apollo astronaut Cernan, helped by Davis (A Father's Rage, etc.), takes readers with him on one great space adventure after another--including Gemini 9's "Spacewalk from Hell," Apollo 1's fire, Snoopy's hair-raising swoop by the lunar surface. Readers experience the agony of life-or-death decision making in the Apollo 13 control room, exult with Cernan and geologist Jack Schmitt throughout the mission of Apollo 17 and meet legendary characters of the astronaut corps and the technical and political leaders who shared their glory. Cernan reveals the risk-taking, competitive personality and oversized self-confidence that drove his success as a test pilot and astronaut. He also acknowledges his failings as a husband to his first wife, Barbara, whom he presents as a quiet, strong homefront heroine who always found the right words in public despite her private difficulties. However, careful readers may see more of Cernan than he intended to display. His admiration and friendship may justify letting Wernher von Braun and Spiro Agnew off the hook for what many consider their political and personal misdeeds, but his unforgiving view of Buzz Aldrin seems to stem from personal animus. Why must the last man on the moon demean the second? ("[Aldrin] came flapping into my office at the Manned Spacecraft Center one day like an angry stork..."). Despite the bad taste of Cernan's words about Aldrin, this is an exciting, insider's take on what it was like to become one of the first humans in space. Agent, Jane Dystel.
Booknews
Cernan, a veteran astronaut who flew in space three times, twice to the Moon, and Davis, an experienced journalist and author, join forces to tell Cernan's story. His career spanned the Gemini and Apollo programs, during which time he was both the first man to space walk during a complete circle of the Earth, and the last man to step foot on the Moon as commander of the Apollo 17 mission. This autobiography tells his whole story, from wild adventures, to relationships he sacrificed because of his work. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
A hokey autobiography of American astronaut and moon-walker Cernan. Cernan commanded the last of the Apollo missions, number 17, destination Moon, where he and mission geologist Jack Schmitt took a walk. It was a long haul of a career to make those few steps-in all likelihood, a career exquisitely nuanced, serendipitous, and with a few tales to tell, but what gets served up here is Cernan the hayseed patriot. "The Cold War became the crucible in which my military career was forged" will tip readers off early as to where things are headed. Training in California, he experiences an earthquake and interprets it as "God's way of saying, `Welcome to the real world, you nugget.' " Vietnam rages in the background, and Cernan makes note of it with such comments as, "the bloody battle of the Ia Drang Valley proved those little guys could fight us to a standstill." He briefly hits a stride chronicling his space walk on an earlier mission-a truly hellacious, slow-motion episode, in which a welter of little glitches nearly kills him-and his profiles of the other pilots in the space program are easily the most entertaining parts of the book, although they too can be facile (of Walter Schirra, "He was a cold-nerved pilot, by God"). When he steps off the ladder of the lunar module and treads upon the surface of the Moon, he stays true to form-no poetry, just "Oh, my golly." And questions of tone aside, there is too much lumber passing as prose in these pages ("Roger was a workaholic, and I guess we all were, but off-duty, he had a great sense of humor"), despite the assistance of amanuensis Daavis. Even if Cernan is an aw-shucks kind of guy, this much corn makes his story a bland affair.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312263515
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
344,301
Product dimensions:
9.02(w) x 6.06(h) x 0.98(d)

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