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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathetic but entertaining and informative
Based on a recent documentary, this easily read, informative documentary reflects the accesability of the authors original intentions - to examine the life of Yuri Gagarin, one of the worlds most famous men yet one most people know nothing about.
While the standard biographical contact - Yuri's early life in Nazi occupied Russia, his early career and character -...
Published on 23 April 1999

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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Facts are not accurate - be careful with this book
A lot of 'facts' are very questionable. Just one and very subjective source usually have been used when this book was written. Some American spy in Turkey listened to the last words of doomed cosmonaut - well, give me a break! It was a Cold War - do you really will take this as the truth?!

And another blunder - the coffin with the remnants of Komarov WAS...
Published on 23 Mar 2011 by Nia


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathetic but entertaining and informative, 23 April 1999
By A Customer
Based on a recent documentary, this easily read, informative documentary reflects the accesability of the authors original intentions - to examine the life of Yuri Gagarin, one of the worlds most famous men yet one most people know nothing about.
While the standard biographical contact - Yuri's early life in Nazi occupied Russia, his early career and character - is enjoyable enough, the book comes into it's own when it starts to examine the oftem perilous early years of the Russian Space program.
It's a truly fascinating history of one of mankinds greatest acheivements. One of the books great strengths is that it unearths the secret histories of so many remarkable scientists who's achievements have, to date, been largely eclipsed by the enigmatic First Cosmonaut. However the book avoids excessive technobabble, balancing these aspects with explanations of the emotional driving forces behind the Space Race.
The story of Yuri Gagarin doesn't end with his historic 90 minues in space - rather it can be seen as the beginning of the second, sadder story. Touted as a triumph of Socialist achievement Gagarin was flaunted world wide on a series of gruelling diplomatic engagements which initially showcased his remarkable patience, charm and genorosity, but ultimately drove him to drink, depression and a series of embarrasing incidents that would prevent him from ever returning to space.
Even the unpredictable and untimely death of Yuri Gagarin at the hands of an ancient training jet is clouded with secrecy, yet the authors refrain from pandering to conspiracy theorists and treats this event with an unbiased examination of the evidence.
If one criticism can be levelled at the book it's that this unbiased view is not evident throughout, however with a character of Yuri's status and a story so gripping it is dificult not to be in awe.
A very entertaining read for those with even the most passing of interests in space or 20th Century history. Recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top class biography and space book combined, 18 Jun 2001
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Michael Knapton (Sheffield, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I found this book one of the best space biographies I have read. Gagarin's childhood during the 2nd World War is dealt with in an interesting manner but thankfully is fairly brief, thankfully because everybody who reads this book will want to know mainly about his cosmonaut career. One of the key elements of Gagarin's life was his relationship with other people and the effects on his career. His crucial associations with Korolev (The Chief Designer) and Nikita Krushchev are covered very well. As is his rivalry with Gherman Titov, with whom he vied to be the first man in space and become a living legend. Fellow cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, who was close to Gagarin for many years, makes many telling contributions throughout the book. The book more or less stamps on the conspiracy theory that says that Gagarin was murdered by the Brezhnev regime, saying that his death was a tragic if mysterious air accident. The book is well written and easy to read, is full of interesting facts and I recommend it whole heartedly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read for space fanatics, 8 July 2011
This review is from: Starman (Paperback)
A brilliant inside story to the worlds first space explorer. Written under pressures from the old "Iron Curtain" secrecy laws this is the closest we will get to the truth of what truly happened during the space race.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Read, 24 May 2011
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Nick CC "Big Dog" (Paignton, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starman (Paperback)
Yuri Gagarin is one of the most famous men of the 20th Century, due to being the first man in space. But how much do we actually KNOW him? I didn't know much about him at all, so I bought this book.
I'm very glad I did. It adds plenty of colour to Gagarin's legend, and the book does a great job of painting Gagarin as just a normal guy who did an extraordinary thing. A very highly recommended book to anyone interested in 20th Century History or Space Exploration.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tremendous book, 20 Dec 2000
By A Customer
A tremendous book, which gives a real insight into the workings of the early Soviet Space Programme, and the character of Yuri Gagarin himself. I enjoyed it immensely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars USA boo hoo, 10 July 2014
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A great story.must have really frightened the yanks at the time.what bravery being basically put into a metal ball and strapped to missile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yuri Gagarin bio, 8 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Starman (Paperback)
Gagarin is a pioneer of the calibre of Darwin, Marco Polo, or Vasco De Gama, yet he was also emblematic of a failed ideology expressed too often in terms of simple thuggish tyranny. As such he is less well recognized in the West than say, Armstrong, Aldrin, or Sagan. Still, as a figure of those times his first flight into space was an absolute turning point, some would say an omega point, of the history of human exploration and expansion. This work thus fulfils a need -- it's well written, readable, and seems to be well researched. As it is the only bio of YG of which I know I cannot critique this as a history, but it seems like a balanced view of this brave and good man's difficult life and accomplishment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and immersive., 7 April 2013
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Michael Gale (Dorset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starman (Paperback)
mike gale

Astonishing depth and breadth, every angle was covered and covered well. I'm not only enlightened and charmed by the wonderful story of a true hero and decent bloke, human for sure but decent nonetheless, but I also feel really satisfied and appreciative of the research the authors have undertaken in what must have been an incredibly frustrating climate of typical Russian secretiveness.
Well done!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Star book!, 13 Jan 2008
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Great read, with some amazing facts about the 60's russian space race, and its wonders and dangers faced in the blind rush to beat the americans into space.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book - well written and engaging, 13 Aug 2014
This review is from: Starman (Paperback)
Fantastic book - well written and engaging. It provides a comprehensive overview of Gagarin's life and his role in the Space Race and Soviet politics... mixed up with lots of amusing anecdotes.
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