This is a genuinely excellent book about the Apollo programme, compiled by NASA historian Glen Swanson with a foreword by ex-flight director Chris Kraft. Published in 1999 to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the first moon landing, it consists of fourteen chapters, each one an interview with an important figure in the missions. The value here is that whilst Apollo fans will have read the big-name astronaut and flight controller biographies, in this case we here from the managers, the designers and a couple of the less vocal astronauts.
The names will be familiar to enthusiasts: James Webb, Tom Paine, Wernher von Braun, Bob Gilruth, George Mueller, Gene Kranz, Arthur Rogers, Harry Gunn, Glynn Lunney, Geneva Barnes, Charlie Duke, Jack Schmitt, George Low and Max Faget. Quotes and thoughts from some of those key people are very hard to come by but here they all talk at length to NASA interviewers. They are quizzed about big decisions they made, about how they felt at famous dramatic moments and about how they look back at Apollo's achievements with the benefit of hindsight. Some of the management-related material is a little dry, but overall this valuable book is packed with rare opinions and makes essential reading for the space buff.
The one star is for the very poor quality of the book. It's a very cheap photcopied book. Even the text is not crisp and the photo's are appaling. Black blotches at best! The content of the text will be reviewed later, when finished, but if quality is important to you, think again.