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‘Chasing the Moon’ Review: The History of Spaceflight

Chasing the Moon is a well-researched account of humanity’s journey to the Moon and its long history. Through an astute attention to detail and a large collection of historic imagery, this full story of the space age demands to be read.

This is a deeply researched account of the history of rocket science and the many figures necessary to get a man to the Moon. We see the early days in Russia and Germany, fueled by propaganda and popular culture until extremist politics and war took over. We see the mass defection of German scientists to the US and how it advanced the timeline of the American entrance into space. We see the race to the Moon fueled by Russia’s first flight outside of the atmosphere. There are so many behind the scenes details that don’t often get discussed and they present a fascinating, essential history.

I found the early history most interesting. Many books focus on the scientific aspects of space travel and history beginning with the Moon landings, but Chasing the Moon starts with the roots of the space age and how it ingrained itself into public consciousness. It’s not surprising that science fiction had a heavy hand in exciting the world to explore beyond our atmosphere. The vision of humanity in space was sold to the masses through science fiction magazines, epic movies, news broadcasts, animated shorts, and propaganda. Seeing this narrative play out really drives home the power of the space age on twentieth century popular culture.

Chasing the Moon is a fascinating history book that dives deep into the many aspects of our journey to the Moon. If you’re looking for an intellectual catch-all history of spaceflight, you’ve found it.

Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America into the Space Age
By Robert Stone and Alan Andres
Ballantine Books

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

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