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Korolev: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat America to the Moon: How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive to Beat the Americans to the Moon Paperback – 11 Mar 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (11 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471327212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471327219
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.8 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"In this exceptional book, James Harford pieces together a most compelling and well–written tale . . . must reading."–Space News

"A fascinating and perceptive history of the Russian space program.... Avid space enthusiasts will find this story a necessary addition to their knowledge of space exploration."–Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., former Director of Flight Operations, NASA

"His erudite and meticulously researched charting of the life and times of Korolev provides unique insights. . . . This is a fascinating book . . . for the space expert and enthusiast alike. Great stuff."–New Scientist

From the Author

Good background in 30th anniversary year of Apollo 11
This is the first English language analysis, using Russian sources, of the Soviet lunar landing scenario, especially useful in this 30th anniversary year of Apollo 11. Author interviewed some 60 Russian colleagues of Korolev, chief designer of the Soviet program. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I think I have read this before and even visited the town in the man's name. I really terrific book on the space race.
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Format: Paperback
I found this biography of Korolev to be very well researched and equally well written. It does a lot to put one of the least known, but most important scientists of the 20th century into perspective. The book has a few flaws though. It is very, very detailed on technical information, but is somewhat lacking in more personal details about Korolev's life. This small flaw makes to book a little less interesting, but also could have been unavoidable for the author. Undoubtedly Korolev, having lived under Stalin's rule and having spent time in the Soviet prison camp system, knew how to keep personal opinions to himself. Therefore, there just might not be much "personal information" available about Korolev for a historian to dig up. The book does bring out Korolev's excellent scientific and administrative abilities - the two keys to his sucess as a scientist and the early dramatic sucess of the Soviet space program. The book also shows why the Soviet space program faltered following Korolev's death. If you're interested in the history of space exploration or the Soviet Union, I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
In the movie,"The Right Stuff," there is a scene where Lyndon Johnson is in a briefing room, viewing stolen film footage of the Soviet space program. As head of a White House Committee to get America's own space efforts back on track, Johnson seethes with frustration as he sees a smiling image of the mysterious Chief Designer. "Get that moron off the screen," he cries, as he can no longer take any more of what certainly appears to be gloating.
The man on the screen is Korolev, subject of Harford's exceptionally researched biography. As it turns out, Korolev was indeed "off the screen" of world events of the time. The very idea is so contrary to American impulses -- having a huge role to play in the glamourous, headline-grabbing battle of superpowers -- and remaining anonymous. This story is one of keeping what could have been a justifiably enormous ego under excruciatingly tight wraps. Perhaps it is a story which Americans now need to hear, in this age of media hype and instantly manufactured celebrities.
Harford tells of Korolev's rise to prominence in the Soviet space program with real passion. He does not, however, idealize, as he is careful to present many diverse opinions from many sources. Most of these come from deep within that bureaucratic enigma of Russian space engineering and research organizations. All told, however, the Chief Designer's life and times invoke tremendous respect and admiration. The pressures this man faced, developing the manned space flights as well as military missiles as well as spy sattelites ... as well as coping with a paranoid leadership which insisted on optimum results with far from adequate resources. Job stress redefined on a new level!
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Format: Paperback
Some fascinating insights into Korolev and the cosmonauts but a bit too much on the internecine machinations of the engineering crowd in the USSR made it a bit dull and repetitive. There wasnt much about the really interesting stuff regarding how he handled the politicians and got resources. It just tended to say "Sergei Pavlovich got the money somehow...".

There might be better Korolev biographys around but it you cant find any and are interested in the subject then read this.
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