Rockets and Missiles: The Life Story of a Technology

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Overview

Beginning with World War II, missiles transformed the art of war. For the first time, cities of warring nations were vulnerable to sudden, unannounced, long-distance attacks. At the same time, rockets made possible one of the great triumphs of the modern age—the exploration of space. Beginning with the origins of rocketry in medieval and early modern Asia, Rockets and Missiles traces the history of the technology that led to both the great fear of global warfare and the great excitement of the Space Age.

This volume focuses on rocketry in late-twentieth-century Western Europe, Russia, and the United States, as well as the spread of rocket technology to East Asia and the Middle East. It covers the full history of rocket technology—including how rockets improved in performance, reliability, and versatility and how they affected everyday life.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

H-Net Reviews
This volume provides a concise, clear history of rockets and missiles from ancient times to the present... Van Riper does an exemplary job in lifting out the critical points from a mass of potentially intimidating detail, and explaining these in terms that lay persons can grasp... In sum, this book recommends itself as a lucid history of missile technology for the general reader.

— Richard Beyler

H-Net Reviews - Richard Beyler

This volume provides a concise, clear history of rockets and missiles from ancient times to the present... Van Riper does an exemplary job in lifting out the critical points from a mass of potentially intimidating detail, and explaining these in terms that lay persons can grasp... In sum, this book recommends itself as a lucid history of missile technology for the general reader.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801887925
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

A. Bowdoin Van Riper, an adjunct professor at Southern Polytechnic State University, is the author of Looking Up: Aviation and the Popular Imagination; Science in Popular Culture: A Reference Guide; and Men among the Mammoths: Victorian Science and the Discovery of Human Prehistory.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgment     ix
Timeline     xi
Introduction     1
The Age of Black Powder 1000-1900     7
The Birth of Modern Rocketry, 1900-1942     25
Rockets in World War II, 1939-1945     41
Rockets for Research, 1945-1960     57
Ballistic Missiles and the Cold War, 1945-1990     71
Rockets to the Moon, 1960-1975     93
Tactical Missiles in the Cold War, 1950-1990     111
Spaceflight Becomes Routine, 1970-Present     125
Missiles after the Cold War, 1990-Present     139
Conclusion: What Next?     155
Glossary     161
Further Reading     165
Index     169
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