"The Gemini program has always been NASA's quiet, superachieving middle child, overshadowed by the space cowboys of the Mercury years and Apollo's lunar prospectors. French, an executive at Sally Ride Science, and Burgess, author of Fallen Astronauts, chronicle the missions on which American astronauts learned how to live in space for more than a few hours; steer a spacecraft around the Earth at almost 20,000 miles an hour; rendezvous with a companion ship; and navigate to another world and return safely. The authors relate that during the early Gemini missions, in the mid-'60s, several crews came close to ending in tragedy before NASA had the bright idea to have Buzz Aldrin practice in a Baltimore swimming pool for the final flight, Gemini 12. The book also covers the Apollo program and the U.S.S.R.'s simultaneous space efforts. Although the authors interviewed surviving astronauts, family members and NASA staff for some fresh material, space aficionados will know most of this saga by heart. For young readers born decades after man last walked on the moon, this is a readable introduction to the first years of America's leap into space." Publishers Weekly "For both space superpowers, human spaceflight was filled with remarkable triumphs as they strove to place the first person on the moon. There were also devastating tragedies to overcome. Through diligent research and pivotal interviews the authors recount that extraordinary era in this superbly crafted and eminently readable book." Rex Hall, MBS, former president of the British Interplanetary Society "My husband told the authors stories about his Apollo 8 mission that he had never even told me!" Valerie Anders, wife of Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders "Our lives and those of future generations were forever transformed by the events so vividly related in this book. These were the tense, often inspiring days of pioneering human space travel, and the authors are to be congratulated for their unerring portrayals of many larger-than-life personalities involved in that historic endeavour." Cece Bibby, the first woman to work at the Mercury launch pad "French and Burgess present a first-rate, detailed, and very personal account of the space race to the moon ... Strongly recommended both as a study of the social interactions among this unique group of people and as a gripping series of anecdotes that describe the exciting, dangerous steps behind the successful moon landing." CHOICE "There's a wealth of information and insights about the people and missions in each chapter, at least for those who haven't immersed themselves in space history." Jeff Foust, The Space Review.com "Authors Burgess and French are even-handed and equitable, and have done an excellent job in covering a vast expanse of material... The opportunity to get the true stories from the astronauts themselves is a luxury that will sadly not be available forever, and In the Shadow of the Moon has done an excellent job in gathering and eliciting the stories of these men, not just the 'official reports,' but the personal touches that render them more human... The authors have a touch for weaving revealing and captivating personal narratives amidst the nuts-and-bolts space history." Michael Patrick Brady, PopMatters.com "[T]he authors craft a remarkable story of the golden age of spacecraft as both an intimate human experience and rollicking global adventure... [T]heir book draws a richly detailed picture of the space race as an endeavor equally endowed with personal meaning and political significance." QUEST "French and Burgess have written yet another excellent book... [They] bring the history of space flight to life. I eagerly await another exceptional book from these authors."--Kate Cooper, Apollo 1 Memorial Foundation "The writers have gone beyond old soviet propaganda to tell the untold stories of heroic cosmonauts through new and recent interviews. This volume captures the anxiety and haste shown by both nations at the height of the space race ... This series will be read by future generations when they want the complete perspectives of the original generation of space explorers." Space Times
About the Author
Francis French is the former director of events for Sally Ride Science, and the current director of education at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Colin Burgess is a former flight service director with Qantas Airways and the author of many books on spaceflight, including "Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon," available in a Bison Books edition. He is the coauthor with Francis French of "Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965" (Nebraska 2007). A NASA astronaut from 1963 to 1971, Walter Cunningham was a crew member on the first manned Apollo flight.