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Palgrave Macmillan US
John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

by J. Logsdon


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780230110106
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 02/10/2011
Series: Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology
Edition description: 2010
Pages: 291
Sales rank: 775,237
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. John M. Logsdon is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and until his retirement was the long-time director of GWU’s Space Policy Institute. Author of the seminal study The Decision to Go to the Moon (1970) and the main article for “space exploration” in the newest edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, he is a sought-after commentator on space issues who has appeared on all major broadcast and cable networks, along with many international news shows. He was a member of the NASA Advisory Council from 2005-2009 and remains a member of its Exploration Committee. From 2008-2009 he held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum. In 2003 he served as a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

Table of Contents

“We Should Go to the Moon”
• Before the White House
• Making the Transition
• Getting Started
• First Decisions
• “There’s Nothing More Important”
• Space Plans Reviewed
• “A Great New American Enterprise”
• First Steps on the Way to the Moon
• “I Am Not That Interested in Space”
• Early Attempts at Space Cooperation
• To the Moon Together: Pursuit of an Illusion?
• Apollo under Pressure
• Were Changes in the Wind?  
• John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

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John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Gobia More than 1 year ago
As a long time space buff I eagerly opened John M. Logsdon's new book, John F. Kennedy and the Race To The Moon. I was not disappointed. Logsdon sets the stage by taking us back to late 1960 and early 1961 as John Kennedy became President and quickly became bedeviled by the Soviet Union's stunning accomplishment of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man to orbit the Earth on April 12, 1961 and then the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba on April 17th. What could Kennedy do to begin to counter these setbacks? Professor Logsdon takes us through the internal decision making process whereby President Kennedy approved and announced to the Nation in an address to a joint secession of Congress on May 25, 1961 that "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." The race to the moon was on, and the United States was not going to settle for second place. In the heat of the Cold War and with American prestige on the line, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress quickly backed this effort and with little controversy or debate approved massive increases in funding for this new national goal. These events, now fifty years old, seem even further away in time since today's bitter and highly partisan politics in Washington make it unimaginable that one of the largest government engineering projects in our history could be imagined, announced and the initial funding approved in a matter of months. It is to Professor Logsdon's credit that these developments seem reasonable and rational in the Kennedy Administration of 1961. While the book's historical narrative and analysis essentially ends with the assassination of the President in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Professor Logsdon provides a short but insightful discussion of the legacy of the Project Apollo and the successful moon landing missions. Although Project Apollo became a dead end, with the rockets and space capsules build at enormous cost for the mission abandoned and never to used again after the mid 1970s, it was a singular achievement and probably accomplished President Kennedy's main goal of generating international prestige through this triumph of space exploration. I highly recommend this short book (244 pages of text) to understand the initial Presidential decision making that America got to the moon - first.
AuldMunro More than 1 year ago
first rate