In all of the universe, since the beginning of humankind, there is only one celestial body aside from Earth that humans have ever stepped on to the surface. Only 12 men have set foot on the moon. Of those twelve, Neil Armstrong was the first.
Although this made him famous, he never sought fame. His personality, skills and drive sent him to the moon and afterward, he led a quiet life. The real person was a mystery to many, until this book.
Why is this on our bookshelf?
Not only is this an amazing biography of a very famous person, it also happens to be a thrilling story of the moonshot.
Rating (5 stars)
Even though some may have forgotten in recent years, the moon landing accomplishment was truly a momentous and historic occasion. Throughout that whole period, Jay Barbree was a dedicated reporter who became quite close with Neil Armstrong. It is apparent from the writing, that Barbree knew Neil quite well and his esteem for the famous astronaut, as well as his inside knowledge, makes this biography something truly special.
The biography focuses mostly on Neil Armstrong’s career in flight, which much of his life revolved around.
The programs and missions leading up to Apollo 11 are explained in enough detail— Armstrong’s reactions, thoughts and feelings during those missions enhance the telling of the already compelling story, from the deadly Apollo 1 fire to the near-disaster of his Gemini 8 mission.
This enriches this story of scientific progress, even for those familiar with the space program of that era.
Read this book:
To learn how one can deal with sudden fame with dignity and integrity. Also, read it because the moon landings are awesome.
Don't Read this book:
If you’re a moon hoaxer. Shame on you.
Once you're done, do this:
Watch When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions, an amazingly cool 2008 miniseries on space exploration. It features interviews from Neil Armstrong, a rarity for him. (Also, interviews with Jay Barbree).