In the first and only definitive, authorized biography of the first man to walk on the moon, Hansen chronicles the life of Armstrong, from the heights of honor and recognition earned as a naval aviator, test pilot, and astronaut to the personal price Armstrong paid for his dedication to his vocation. Photos.In the first and only definitive, authorized biography of the first man to walk on the moon, Hansen chronicles the life of Armstrong, from the heights of honor and recognition earned as a naval aviator, test pilot, and astronaut to the personal price Armstrong paid for his dedication to his vocation. Photos.Read Less
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New. Marking the forty-fifth anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing, First Man by James Hansen offers the only authorized glimpse into the life of America's most famous astronaut, Neil Armstrong--the man whose one small step changed history. The Eagle has landed. When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon's surface in 1969, the first man on the moon became a legend. In First Man, Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon. Upon his return to earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also--as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important biography--misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as engineer, test pilot, and astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over. In a riveting narrative filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong's career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. These milestones made it seem, as Armstrong's mother Viola memorably put it, as if from the very moment he was born--farther back still--that our son was somehow destined for the Apollo 11 mission. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the forty-five years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life. In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. In First Man, the personal, technological, epic, and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history's most famous space traveler. Book has remainder mark on text edge. Sold as is!
First Man is a typical book on the subject of the Apollo moon landings. It's especially good at presenting the unique challenges of the first moon landing.
The only reason to read this book is to get a little understanding into the life and mind of the first moonwalker. Unfortunately, Armstrong did not reveal as much as I would have liked. He has always been good at keeping his thoughts to himself and this book seems to leave more questions than it resolves. For instance, Hansen spent an entire chapter on the life of Armstrong's daughter, Karen, who I'd never heard about. Later in the book, he goes on for page after page discussing whether or not Armstrong took a souvenior of hers with him to the moon. That question is not answered in the book, so why even bring it up?
There are a lot of good things in this book, but it feels incomplete to me.
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