Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars A straightforward intro for the early space race, 2 Feb 2011
This review is from: Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age (Paperback)
Tells the story of "Sputnik and the rivalries that ignited the Space Age". Indeed it starts well with a very atmospheric description of a V2 launch against London, and then goes on to tell the story of the early pre Sputnik US and Soviet space programmes and the internal politics that lay behind them. Centre-stage is rightly given to von Braun, ex member of Hitler's SS and Korolev, survivor of Stalin's Gulag camps (interesting that Korolev had as many failures - probably more than the US before his successful Sputnik launch) with an examination of their respective relationships with Eisenhower and Khrushchev but beyond telling the story, rather like early US attempts to get into space, it fails to really ignite. Brzezinski is a former journalist (for the Wall Street Journal) and this reads like an extended piece of journalism - rather like a long series of articles that you might find in a weekend supplement. The US political context is more satisfactory than the Soviet. The end notes suggest that research is essentially secondary - and much of that from the internet. An appropriate read perhaps if you are new to the period (having just seen the forthcoming movie on "Ham" the space chimp maybe) but don't look to find any novel insights or new archival research.
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