Robert Kurson, author of Rocket Men
By August 1968, the American space program was in danger of failing in its two most important objectives: to land a man on the Moon by President Kennedy’s end-of-decade deadline, and to triumph over the Soviets in space. With its back against the wall, NASA made an almost unimaginable leap: It would scrap its usual methodical approach and risk everything on a sudden launch, sending the first men in history to the Moon—in just four months. And it would all happen at Christmas.
In a year of historic violence and discord—the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago—the Apollo 8 mission would be the boldest, riskiest test of America’s greatness under pressure. In this gripping insider account, Robert Kurson puts the focus on the three astronauts and their families: the commander, Frank Borman, a conflicted man on his final mission; idealistic Jim Lovell, who’d dreamed since boyhood of riding a rocket to the Moon; and Bill Anders, a young nuclear engineer and hotshot fighter pilot making his first space flight.
Drawn from hundreds of hours of one-on-one interviews with the astronauts, their loved ones, NASA personnel, and myriad experts, and filled with vivid and unforgettable detail, Rocket Men is the definitive account of one of America’s finest hours. In this real-life thriller, Kurson reveals the epic dangers involved, and the singular bravery it took, for mankind to leave Earth for the first time—and to arrive at a new world.
Robert Kurson is the author of several bestselling books, including Pirate Hunters and Shadow Divers. Kurson’s professional writing career began at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a data entry clerk and soon gained a full-time features writing job. In 2000, Esquire published “My Favorite Teacher,” his first magazine story, which became a finalist for a National Magazine Award. He moved from the Sun-Times to Chicago Magazine, then to Esquire, where he won a National Magazine Award and was a contributing editor for years. His stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. He lives in Chicago.
“Robert Kurson tells the tale of Apollo 8 with novelistic detail and immediacy.” —Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
“Rocket Men is a timely and thrilling reminder of a heroic American achievement—three dashing astronauts and the first rendezvous with the moon. It has it all—suspense, drama, risk, and loving families. We could use those days again.” —Tom Brokaw
“As a Rocket Woman myself, I know very well the story of Apollo 8, and yet I couldn’t put this book down. I was transported—along with NASA, the public, and the crew and their families—on this first-of-its-kind journey. Kurson presents not only the challenges, risks, ambition, and success of Apollo 8, but a story of human spirit.” —Nicole Stott, NASA ISS Space Shuttle Astronaut
“Engrossing…Kurson's conception-to-splashdown reporting had the cooperation from the astronauts and their wives, giving him invaluable details of what happened inside the astronaut's capsule and in their homes below…Kurson builds suspense around a mind-bendingly complex and dangerous journey.” —Associated Press
Read Robert's interview with 702WI
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