Books et al.History of Science

Apollo, in context

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Science  19 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6450, pp. 226-227
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay4380

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Summary

Among literally dozens of new books on Apollo, all timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in July 2019, two books exemplify both old and new tropes. James Donovan's Shoot for the Moon has been touted by none other than Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, who recently remarked, "This is the best book on Apollo that I have read." Donovan's strength is his breezy and journalistic writing style that weaves together a vast and complicated set of stories from all levels of Apollo. If Donovan's book is a by-the-numbers retelling that is also a familiar one, Eight Years to the Moon by Nancy Atkinson takes us into less-familiar aspects of the history, benefiting in many ways from a burst of recent scholarship. This book functions as a kind of corrective to the ubiquitous heroic narrative of politicians and astronauts.

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