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Dr. Space: The Life of Werner Von Braun [Paperback]

Bob Ward
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.50
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Book Description

15 Sep 2009
Written by veteran aerospace journalist Bob Ward, who spent years investigating his subject, this biography presents a revealing but even-handed portrait of the father of modern rocketry. As he chronicles Werner von Braun's life, Ward explodes many myths and misconceptions about the controversial genius who was a hero to some, a villain to others. The picture of von Braun that emerges is of a brilliant scientist with limitless curiosity and a drive to achieve his goals at almost any price--from developing the world's first ballistic missile used against the Allies in World War II to helping launch the first U.S. satellite that hurled Americans into space and the Saturn V super-booster that powered them to the moon. Along the way readers are introduced to the human side of this charismatic visionary who brought the United States into the Space Age.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (15 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591149274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591149279
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Former editor of The Huntsville (Alabama) Times, Bob Ward has written extensively about space since 1957. He covered the von Braun rocket team for years as a reporter and as a correspondent to technical and trade periodicals in New York. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An anedoctical biography of Werner Von Braun 30 July 2006
The book "Dr.Space: The Life of Werner Von Braun" is a tour-de-force in the art of fishing for anedoctical and personal-recall evidence in writing a biography of a most-important character of contemporary history. In this the author, B.Ward, has been a real master. Being a journalist who personally knew Von Braun and was accredited at NASA for years he had plenty of material to work upon; innumerable quotations and interviews with Von Braun himself and other people who surrounded him are a testimony of Ward's effort throughout the book. In addition he had a real worship for the character (and it shows), hence his continuous effort to put him in a good light. Actually Von Braun has been one of the leading scientists of this era and one of the brightest minds ever existed. He solved innumerable technical and managerial tasks on the brink of the impossibility to bring man to the Moon and beyond. In my opinion this simply does not pop out in B.Ward's work. It is maybe better a tool to understand the general mood and atmosphere of those years, than a way to reconstruct Von Braun's path to the Moon. Technical people like engineers and scientists could be disappointed by this book. I think it could be more interesting for those who study the sociology and the politics of the post-wwii period.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Considering what von Braun achieved during his life - whether you admire him or not - he surely deserves better treatment than this. At the end of the book what do we know of the man? That he was pushy, boorish and vulgar. That he was a self-publicist and ever a man with an eye to the main chance. If this is not the case, then the book must bear the blame for creating this impression. We hear that he could captivate audiences and convince sceptics, but none of the inane accounts of his wit and wisdom indicate a man who possessed these powers. The book overloads with useless information. Why did we have to know the shortened name of almost everyone in the book: William H 'Bill' Pickering; facts about men which bore no relevance to their part in the book: 'gifted writer/handball champ Michael Collins'; and recollections of events from friends and colleagues which told nothing of von Braun the man or the scientist/engineer. There were no interviews with his family and those colleagues who were interviewed seemed to speak to von Braun rather than about him. We were told of colleagues who did not like him, but no evidence was presented as to why they might have felt this way. We were left with the suggestion that they were 'jealous'. While this might be acceptable in a teen novel, something more is expected in a book with the pretensions of this one. We did not find out what anyone genuinely thought of him and his achievements or (for an author who had apparently such access to him)what von Braun thought of himself. Hard questions of his past were avoided in preference for this superficial account. This man may indeed by a flawed colossus of the twentieth century, but it will take a book of greater quality than this to do him justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. 25 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great, it is wrote by a person who knew him very well. The book goes into great detail on all aspects of his life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Space-Biography of Werner von Braun 30 Mar 2010
Great biography of one of the key figures in the early American Space missions and the German rocket program. Whilst I feel there was a touch of "I fear the lady doth protest too much" with regards to his commission as an SS officer during the war, it is full of detail and interesting facts that should appeal to early space travel geeks and rightly tributes Dr von Braun as the leading rocketeer of his time.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Von Braun 6 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as a present for someone else and not read personally. However skipping through the book it seemed full of information.
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