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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Back to the Future
My first memory ever, before the memory of my mother's face or my favorite toy or throwing up creamed carrots, is of watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I was three years old, and I didn't know anything about JFK's promise a decade earlier to land an American on the moon or of the cold war and the space race it created. All I saw was a man bounding lightly over a gray landscape that I knew was a long way away. I thought that if I went outside, I would be able to see the men walking around.
For better or for worse, the space race changed the planet. It created satellite technology that put every country in touch with each other. It created weaponry powerful enough to travel halfway around the world and land with pinpoint accuracy. It diverted billions of dollars of national treasuries into a small and expensive industry. It helped forge the image of America as the preeminent technological power player.
This New Ocean, chronicles all the details of the political, technical, and social evolution wrought by "the first space age." Because the space race was more than science, more than just another high-tech industry, the story is complicated. It created intrigue at the core of the U.S.-Soviet power struggle. It caused interagency feuds in the American government to boil over. It won and lost elections, and it anointed both heroes and martyrs.
With the cold war now over, the space age moving into a more internationally cooperative stage, and exploration focusing on Mars, it is useful to look back at the history that definedthepresent. And with John Glenn returning to space, it is also enjoyable to remember the early triumphs of the first space age.
— Greg Sewell, barnesandnoble.com