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First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong Paperback – 5 Jun 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Paperback, 5 Jun 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (5 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743492323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743492324
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,004,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"To understand Armstrong on his own terms is to see a large truth of our time.... A compelling and nuanced portrait of the astronaut."-- James Tobin, "Chicago Tribune" "If you think you know everything about Neil Armstrong and America's historic mission. . . "First Man" contributes a host of fascinating new insights into the nature of the spacefaring enterprise itself. A book for all time."-- Walter Cronkite "A lot of us have been waiting for a long time for a book like this one, and it was well worth the wait. . . . Will likely stand as the definitive biography of Neil Armstrong."-- Tom D. Crouch, senior curator, Aeronautics, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution "A fine authorized biography brimming with groundbreaking research, fresh anecdotes and fair-minded analysis. . . . Hansen should be commended for decoding the enigmatic Armstrong; a space hero short on words but sky-high on Midwestern integrity."-- Douglas Brinkley, "The New York Times Book Review" "Historian James Hansen relates in intricate detail the tragedy, mishaps, and successes of the first man on the moon. He expertly combines the saga of Armstrong with the historical background of America's introduction to the Age of Space and corrects some of the myths surrounding Neil's journey from novice aviator to commanding the first lunar landing. An excellent book to arouse the memories of armchair astronauts.--Captain James A. Lovell, commander, Apollo 13


On 20 July 1969, the world stood still to watch 38-year-old astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first person ever to walk on the Moon. Perhaps no words in recent human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment. Upon his return to Earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his achievement. But he was also misunderstood. As authorized biographer James Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important book, it was the act of flying that had driven Armstrong rather than the pull of the destination, from his distinguished career as a fighter pilot in the Korean War right through to his most famous mission. Drawing on flight logs, family and NASA archives and over 125 original interviews with key participants, First Man vividly re-creates Armstrong's life and career in flying, from the heights of honor earned as a naval aviator, test pilot and astronaut, to the dear personal price paid by Armstrong and, even more so, by his wife and children, for his dedication to his vocation. It is a unique portrait of a great but reluctant hero.

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