American Moonshot

John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

by Douglas Brinkley

On Sale: 04/02/2019

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American Moonshot

John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

by Douglas Brinkley

On Sale: 04/02/2019


About the Book

As the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing approaches, the award winning historian and perennial New York Times bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring challenge, and America’s race to the moon.

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”—President John F. Kennedy

On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Drawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures who were key to America’s success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life as never before. American Moonshot is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible, the technology that enabled us to propel men beyond earth’s orbit to the moon and return them safely, and the geopolitical tensions that spurred Kennedy to commit himself fully to this audacious dream. Brinkley’s ensemble cast of New Frontier characters include rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn and space booster Lyndon Johnson.

A vivid and enthralling chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful, and turbulent eras in the nation’s history, American Moonshot is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“At a time when national demoralization is so prevalent, Douglas Brinkley’s American Moonshot could not be more timely. His reconstruction of JFK’s bold commitment to space exploration and the heroic efforts of the men who made the “moonshot” a reality reminds us that America was and can be again a great principled nation that leads the world on to new frontiers.” - Robert Dallek, author of Franklin D. Roosevelt and An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

“Graced by Douglas Brinkley’s remarkable gift for writing richly textured, sympathetic social, cultural and biographical history, American Moonshot delivers an epic narrative: it is the sweeping story of how humankind’s impetus for space exploration evolved from the early visionaries in Russia, Germany, and the United States at the dawn of the 20th century through the scientific and technological achievements--albeit associated human horrors--of two world wars, giving birth to the “Space Age” in peaceful ways even in the context of Cold War and its constant threat of nuclear confrontation. Brinkley’s special insights into the life of John F. Kennedy and how in May 1961 as U.S. president he made the audacious commitment of landing astronauts on the Moon “before the decade is out” makes this book a particularly intimate and fascinating read.” - James R. Hansen, author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

“Prepare to recall what it was like to be inspired and thrilled by American greatness. Doug Brinkley recounts, with deep research and exciting narrative, the bold spirit and faith in innovation that was embodied in Kennedy’s decision to launch a mission to the moon. His vision restored a vitality to America, something we could use today.” - Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci

American Moonshot is masterful.  Pulsing with fresh new research, Douglas Brinkley’s latest book captures that Cold War moment when America made a magnificent leap into the heavens. Brinkley weaves the presidency, biography, and science into a gripping narrative, rewarding readers with a tour-de-force of the Space Race.  This is history at its best.” - Yanek Mieczkowski, author of Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment:  The Race for Space and World Prestige

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062655066
  • ISBN 10: 006265506X
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 04/02/2019
  • Pages: 592
  • List Price:43.50 CAD
  • BISAC1 : HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  • BISAC2 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Presidents & Heads of State
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / Expeditions & Discoveries

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