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The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space Paperback – 10 Jul 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Martin's Press Inc.; First edition (10 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312263511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312263515
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

I know the American people will learn a great deal from this book. I hope they learn a lot more about astronaut Gene Cernan, my friend, a man of courage and dedication.--President George Bush

From the Author

The development of this book, The Last Man on the Moon
Greetings, Reader: On a bright Florida morning in 1969, I watched in wonder as a huge, magnificent Saturn rocket took off – Destination: Moon. That was Apollo 10, doing a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing, and the lunar module pilot aboard that spacecraft was a crew-cut astronaut named Gene Cernan. Although I was one of the reporters covering the launch, I had never met the guy. But almost 30 years later, we have formed a firm friendship, because Gene let me write this book about his incredible life. Neither of us wanted it to be just another astronaut memoir, so we decided from the start to minimize technology and emphasize people. As we worked, I realized it had taken 30 years before one of those pioneer astronauts would break the code of silence and really talk about the sacrifice, the pain, the obsession and the problems of earning a walk on the Moon. Gene’s single rule was that he wanted to put the reader on top of the rocket and on the Moon, right along with him. So if you are looking for a tech manual about how such machines fly, this is not the book for you. We have some that, of course, because we couldn’t tell the story without it, but we kept it to a minimum. I guarantee that you will come to the last page very tired and weary and delighted to have survived so many close calls and to have lived on the Moon for three days. He wrote this with his poet’s heart, not with his engineer’s brain, and result is different than any space book I’ve ever read … and I’ve read them all. You’ll meet the original astros, the wives and children who carried such a lonesome load while their men were gone, thrill at the race with the Soviet Union in the troubled Cold War days, laugh in triumph and grieve in defeat with the people in the early, dangerous days of space exploration as somehow this nation accomplished the impossible, and sent a dozen men to walk on the Moon. And you’ll get a great trivia question answered. Everyone knows what Neil Armstrong’s FIRST words on the Moon were, but what were the LAST words said there by an astronaut, Capt. Gene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17? So, strap on a Saturn V, enjoy the ride and let us hear from you. Don Davis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 1967, was another balmy southern California winter day with temperatures in the low seventies, but a blizzard might as well have been hammering the North American Aviation plant in Downey. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Up there with the Michael Collins biography as one of the best astronaut books, this first-person tale of Gene Cernan's NASA career engages not least because of the drama of his three famous missions.
Co-author Davis has helped Cernan tell a complicated story in easy to understand language. Throughout, one picks up on the sheer enthusiasm of this astronaut: his awe and wonder at what he was lucky enough to do. Often self-depracating, he admits difficult moments - the horror of the spacewalk outside Gemini 9 and the frightening malfunction as he approached closer to the Moon than anyone before during Apollo 10, but conveys extremely well the controlled elation of the triumphant Apollo 17, including his and mankind's last steps on the Moon ... for now.
There are thirty-seven photos, the usual mix of family and space-related, the latter set containing little new for the Apollo enthusiast but no less relevant for that.
Do give this book a try. It's clear, interesting and bubbling over with enthusiasm.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jan. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Forget the "attacks" on some other astronauts (and in my reading I found no attack on Jack Schmitt, quite the opposite). Forget just wanting to read about Apollo. DO read this book for a personal and honest account of how one man felt and how he journeyed from his roots to another world.
I grew up watching the space race from the UK and this account of it from the inside strikes true. I have read some other readers comments, who seem to think it was Captain Cernan's job to agree with them rather than say how he felt. I don't understand their desire for this.
I don't care that the author didn't get on with some of his colleagues - I don't get on with some of mine! For a truly genuine and exciting read, telling it from the heart and not from the populist point of view I have read little better about the USA space programme.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
Eugene Cernan flew in space three times,twice to the moon. He was pilot of Gemini 9, Lunar module pilot of Apollo 10 and commander of Apollo 17. This is a book charting his missions and experiences from the early days of Gemini to the ultimate goal of landing on the moon. Bieng the last person to step foot on the surface.
It's one hell of a book! exiting and well written. Another book you won't be able to put down.
Only downside, picked up by other readers, is the lack of pictures from the missions and especially the final landing.
I didn't buy the book for the pictures. If you want pictures buy "A MAN ON THE MOON" the 3 volume set,but i'm not reviewing that. If you want a truly exiting,wild ride of book buy this one!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Whether you have a passing interest in the events surrounding the development of the US Space program leading up to putting Mankind on another planet, or are a serious enthusiast, this book will not disappoint you.
Eugene Cernan weaves a spellbinding account of his own personal involvement with the Apollo missions which led to him being the last man to stand on the surface of the moon.
It is a candid account told with the human element exposed to let the reader see what kind of men were selected to undertake such missions.
This book is a good read and is hard to put down once you embark on Mr Cernan's journey to the moon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read many books on the history of American manned spaceflight. This is one of the most enjoyable. Gene Cernan tells his own story in such a way that when you have to put the book down, you look forward to the next opportunity to carry on reading it. Many of the familiar historic events are there, told by the man who enacted them. Here is a proud ambitious professional and his story is fascinating. In the last few pages, one feels for Cernan. A man who pines for 'his' moon like a long lost love to whom he knows he can never return. Buy it. Read it. I promise you will enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gaznjue@tinyworld.co.uk on 24 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Having been a close follower of Lunar landings and space flight in general I was very keen to aquire the autobiography of my hero, Eugene Andrew Cernan. The book is an honest, open story of an ordinary boy who landed on the moon. Cernans desciptions of emotions as he passes through flight training, Gemini and Apollo are a pleasure to read. No technical claptrap, just the information you need to gain a fascinating insight to a remarkable man. The biggest problem with this book is simply not being able to stop reading it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found Cernan's book tremendously interesting. For one, it is a very personal and sincere account of his time with NASA. Secondly, he writes in a simple way which allows the technical parts of the subject not to bother the reader. Thirdly, his story also focuses on his family, in particular his wife, and it us saddening to learn that notwithstanding the important support he had from his wife, Barbara, throughout his time on Gemini and Appolo missions, the marriage did not last. Lastly, but perhaps more important, his telling of his struggle during his first "space walk" as well as other accounts in the book, allows us, ordinary humans, to grasp what it really meant and to what extreme pressures, both physically and emotionally, were the astronauts really exposed to. I could not drop the book until I read it fully.For anyone who is interested with the subject, this book is a must!!!!
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