...for large format illustrated histories of the Apollo program. The first Moon landing took place on July 20, 1969, forty years ago. As a result a lot of new books have appeared, all with stunning visuals and varying degrees of quality in historical text. This is one such book, but with a difference. Of course, the imagery published in it is superb. There are all of the obligatory photographs, images that have become iconic as time has passed, as well as others less well-known that help to illustrate the work. As is the case for other large illustrated histories the images are the central aspect of "Missions to the Moon." Five or six usually appear on every oversized page, numbers keying them to a legend that contains captions. A short narrative concerning whatever subject dominates the two-page spread supports the imagery, but certainly does not supplant it.
The truly unique feature of this book is a succession of pockets tipped into the pages containing a variety of primary source documents. Turn to the set of spreads on Apollo 11 (pp. 30-37), for instance, and readers will find facsimile reproductions of a "Lunar Module Descent Monitoring Chart--Sheet 2" available as a fold out, the summary of the "Apollo 11 Mission Report," and a memorandum entitled, "Single-trip insurance for Apollo 11 crew," dated July 7, 1969. This type of documentary material, all reproduced to look like the original, are scattered throughout "Missions to the Moon." All of this material is readily available from NASA, but for the spaceflight memorabilia collector or the Apollo geek, which I proudly claim to be the latter if not the former, this is a real attraction of the volume. It's fun to go through the book and see what little "goodies" author Pyle and the publisher decided to include at various points in the text.
"Missions to the Moon" is a fun book and a nice commemorative volume appearing at the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing. Enjoy.