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

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

by Eugene Cernan, Don Davis
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Overview

The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space by Eugene Cernan, Don Davis

The basis of the 2014 award-winning feature-length documentary! A revealing and dramatic look at the inside of the American Space Program from one of its pioneers.

Eugene Cernan was a unique American who came of age as an astronaut during the most exciting and dangerous decade of spaceflight. His career spanned the entire Gemini and Apollo programs, from being the first person to spacewalk all the way around our world to the moment when he left man's last footprint on the Moon as commander of Apollo 17.

Between those two historic events lay more adventures than an ordinary person could imagine as Cernan repeatedly put his life, his family and everything he held dear on the altar of an obsessive desire. Written with New York Times bestselling author Don Davis, The Last Man on the Moon is the astronaut story never before told - about the fear, love and sacrifice demanded of the few men who dared to reach beyond the heavens for the biggest prize of all - the Moon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312263515
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/23/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 246,474
Product dimensions: 9.02(w) x 6.06(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Eugene Cernan (1934-2017) flew in space three times, twice to the moon. He was the pilot of Gemini 9, lunar module pilot on Apollo 10, and commander of Apollo 17. He is a graduate of Purdue University and the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, military awards, and civilian honors, ranging from selection to the U.S. Space Hall of Fame to a television Emmy. He was chairman of the board of Johnson Engineering Corporation in Texas.

Donald A. Davis was a newspaper and wire service correspondent whose assignments ranged from Selma to Saigon and Cape Kennedy to the White House before becoming a New York Times bestselling author. He co-author of New York Times bestseller Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper and author of Lightning Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbor. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Robin.

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Last Man on the Moon 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
BrianIndianFan 5 months ago
The second person to do something is always a footnote to history - Larry Doby is forgotten in the story of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball and Buzz Aldrin likewise when talking about Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. But, since no one has been to the moon since 1972, Gene Cernan becomes known for being the last man to walk on the moon. This is his story. Cernan started from modest beginnings to get his BS in electrical engineering and Navy commission from Purdue University, followed by an MS in aeronautical engineering from the US Naval Postgraduate program. He had over 4800 hours in jet aircraft and was selected as an astronaut in the third group in October 1963. His career in space consisted of Gemini 9 (with its near disastrous EVA), and Apollos 10 and 17. In recounting his NASA career, Cernan is straightforward and honest about his time there. He fears and then respects Alan Shepard, the dog and pony show of being an astronaut going out to rally support for NASA, and the toll it takes on his wife Barbara. It is on his wife and their daughter Tracy that Cernan saves his most tender words. Their struggle to keep up appearances as the perfect astronaut family most likely leads to their divorce in 1981. Cernan's book is a deep look into the NASA culture of the 60s and 70s. Putting a bunch of jet pilots together is sure to bring out jealousy, rivalry, and a sense of family at the same time. He takes time to reference how the wives formed their own sorority in order to help each other out. Most painfully, the fact that an astronaut's death automatically excludes his widow from the astronaut wives club is told. Families were under pressure to stay together so as not to tarnish the all-American boy image of the husband, as well as his own need to stay away from situations that would place his marriage in jeopardy. Overall, Cernan doesn't pat himself on the back and is honest about where his life has been. For that reason alone, this book is worthy of your time. BOTTOM LINE: The last moon walker tells a first-rate story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are a true hero!! Thanks for your sacrifice and the sacrifices of all the astronauts and their families .
TenPeaks More than 1 year ago
It's great reading about one of mankinds greatest accomplishments from someone who experienced the whole thing. Gene takes us through his early days when he decided he wanted to be a pilot and also talked about the people who influenced his life. He brings his experience in space to a personal level and you can imagine what he went through as he orbited the earth in Gemini 9 and flew to the moon on his Apollo missions. If you love space history you should read this book. Another great book about the Apollo missions is A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin.
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gbo More than 1 year ago
One of the best non-fiction books I've read.
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Tennisbuff More than 1 year ago
I thought Gene Cernan and Don Davis did a great job and making you feel like you were next to the "Last Man on the Moon". The honesty and portrail of what it was like to be an Astronaut at that time was enthralling. If you grew up in this era like I did, it really gives you a different perspective of that time with NASA. It was hard to put the book down! I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the space race.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Skip376 More than 1 year ago
An excellent account of the Apollo Missions and the last ones in particular. The Training and the behind the scenes information is very interesting and contains some information that was not generally known by the public. Tells why we haven't been back to the Moon and the reasons why we might consider returning again soon. There are several excellent books on the Apollo Missions and this is just one of the most recent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many books about Astronauts tales of adventure, but this is hands down the best yet. Gene Cernan portrays his stories as a true author not just a space junkie. If you want to find what its really like out there, read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gene Cernan provided a very eye-opening chronological account of the U.S. space program. From our back and forth space race with the Soviets to the triumph and tragedy that NASA experienced throughout the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, Gene Cernan provided a GREAT look at all aspects of an astronaut's life. An absolute must for anyone who has ever been interested in the U.S. space program or would like to learn about that important part of history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent account of the Gemini and Apollo missions and Mr. Cernan's role in them. I thouroughly enjoyed the recounting of the launches, space walks, and the lunar excursions. What I couldn't seem to get over, however, were the 'cowboy' tone in which the book is written, and the unrelenting stabs at Buzz Aldrin. At that time, cursing and informal references to other people were probably just part of the astronaut's vocabulary, but since the story is being told by a man who is quite a bit older now, it's difficult to appreciate the true value of this hero when his tone is so offensive. Using the 'F' word, even once, in a book that details not only America's greatest feat but also the very personal life of the author, his wife, and young daughter, is inappropriate. Ditto for the 'S' word and for all the rest. It's easy to see, judging from the description of the tensions that arose during the author's distinguished career as an astronaut, that not every person will get along. Regardless of whether or not the reader likes Buzz Aldrin, he did play an important role in the space race. To spend book space painting him in an ugly light makes the author look small and selfish. The reader is invited to make his/her own judgements about Mr. Aldrin at the end of one of these tirades, but I fail to see the point of the invitation by the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago