Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age Paperback – 7 Jul 2008
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'Wonderfully colourful ... combines a scientific plotline with the history and characters of a Cold War thriller' The Times 'Gripping' New York Times 'Brzezinski is admirably balanced in this history of the world's first space race and he draws out well both the true strategic importance of that first flight and the sheer complacency of the Americans' Sunday Times 'Red Moon Rising is a compelling account of the scientific and political events leading to the creation of the first satellite' P D Smith, Guardian
About the Author
Matthew Brzezinski served as Moscow correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in the mid-1990s. His book on Russia's post-communist chaos, Casino Moscow, was published by the Free Press in 2001. Post-9/11, Matthew Brzezenski covered homeland security for the New York Times Magazine. His last book, Fortress America, about the counter-terror effort and post-9/11 paranoia, was published in 2004.
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Top Customer Reviews
It gives an informative look at both communism and capitalism at their most (and least) effective.
Brzezinski has captured the tension applied by and to the American and Soviet governments, militaries and scientists quite brilliantly and tells the story of the political manoeuvrings, technical triumphs and disasters, and social perceptions of the period without getting bogged down in these back stories.
In many ways it reads more like a thriller than an historical account, flipping by chapter from the Soviet side to the American side.
I disagree with the reviews that suggest Brzezinski is biased against the Russians, I found the book to be well balanced. If anything it paints the Soviet scientists as more ingenious (and ultimately more effective) than their unfocussed and technologically arrogant American rivals.
The American reaction to Sputnik's launch is told brilliantly, from the citizens listening to its radio signals, right up to Eisenhower playing golf as the balance of world power shifts under his feet.
The story is studded throughout with finely researched details of the main events from a wide variety of sources, most notably Khrushchev's son, but never loses focus of where the story is going, for example there is a lengthy description about the U2 spy missions but not until the epilogue does it discuss the soviet capture which has become more famous than the plane itself, as it's not directly relevant to the story at hand.
A great account of an epic struggle for technological dominance (or at least the perception of it!)
In this book, Mr Brzezinski tells us the story of the launching of the first satelite that man put into space.
Nothing will ever change this fact but the man that reached space was Homo Sovieticus.
Starting from the capture of a large number of German rocket scientists by the americans, through the first ICBM R7 built by Korolev to the final launching of Sputnik (PS1) and quickly later of PS2, the author reveal this intense period of history.
one of the very few positive side of War is that it can sometimes push men to seek other means of imposing their supremacy than with weapons. Korolev worked himself to death to be the first man to launch a man made object into orbit.
A negative point I found out is that the author proceeds relatively slowly in his book. Quite often, he comes back to earlier sections, re-explain concepts, or for example portrait a character that was introduced much earlier in the book. It may become irritating afer a while and you wish the author get to it quicker.
Neverthless, a great book for anybody interested in the cold war, in the space conquest or simply history.
Writing about complex politics and engineering stories can sometimes result in a dull book. But Brzezinski has a great writing style that makes this book an engaging and tense pageturner, without overblowing the mood and making it too novelistic. A highly recommended book, with some fascinating parallels to current political mood swings and events.
The unable-to-put-down factor for me is the style the book is written in; it has all the elements of a cold war thriller, its is Le Carre-esque. And as someone with a fervent interest in science and history, this book neatly combines the two in an accessible manner. Its unlikely that the dialogue within each of the protagonists' respective camps in the book was captured by many, if any historians. However the book appears to be well researched, leading to the assumption that this was in fact the way that business was conducted by the two superpowers at this time.
Because of the clever way that fact and fiction is interlaced in this book, it simultaneously fascinates and educates - though be careful not get the two mixed up.
If you have an interest in military history, rocket science, the space race or simply enjoy a good thriller then this book is for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite the blurb, it is not so much the race for space that makes this story interesting, it is the way in which propaganda, paranoia and mis-information formed the basis of the... Read morePublished on 16 July 2013 by Mr Gordon Davidson
The Soviet space program is as important as NASA historically, hell, as important as Prince Henry's sponsorship of proto-imperial explorations, and Brzezinski writes like a good... Read morePublished on 16 May 2013 by pgm3
Very good dramatization of the political and military reasons that led to Sputnik (and Laika) and of the first American satellite.Published on 17 Feb. 2011 by Sirbu Mihai
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... Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2011 by Les Fearns
This book gives a fascinating insight into the political situation, in both the Soviet Union and the USA, which led to the Soviets' early domination in the space race. Read morePublished on 5 Oct. 2008 by Andy
Extremely poorly written and Biased account of the space race. Russians portrayed as sausage fingered drunks whilst Nazi's like Von Braun are portrayed as dashing heroes. Read morePublished on 19 Sept. 2008 by Vincent Barreto
Hoboy. One of the main faults in the otherwise delightful and generous American national character is a myopic and obsessive self-centredness, which comes out starkly in the... Read morePublished on 1 May 2008 by Ms. S. Bowes
Very good book, original in the angles of its research, told in a readable, entertaining way. A great read.Published on 10 Dec. 2007 by D.Salter