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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two good space biographies for the price of one, 12 April 2006
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This review is from: Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race (Paperback)
This detailed and entertaining book tells the respective stories of U.S. astronaut Dave Scott and Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. A succinct and genuinely interesting foreword by Neil Armstrong lays out the context. Thereafter, Scott and Leonov alternate chapters, all written in the first person.

Their respective upbringings and pilot backgrounds are described at just the right length, followed by the pair's recruitment to opposite sides of the space race.

Leonov offers a candid account of his and man's first ever spacewalk in 1965 as well as his frustrations as the U.S. later took the lead in the rush to land a man on the moon. Meanwhile, Scott provides rare detail of his frightening Gemini 8 mission and a full review of walking and driving on the moon with Apollo 15. Scott's chapters in particular are very well written and he does credit writer Christine Toomey in the acknowledgements.

It was only when Scott assisted with preparations for the early 70s Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) that he and Leonov became good friends and the latter sections here describe how that led to this joint biography. ASTP gets little attention all these years later, so Leonov's account of his part in the mission is valuable.

Twenty-odd photos from Leonov, including a couple of his paintings, and a similar number from Scott round the book out. Worth adding to any collection of Apollo-related biographies, this paperback gives double the value for its added insight to the Russian space effort.
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