First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong (Paperback)James Hansen (author)
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Soon to be a major motion picture, First Man by James Hansen offers the only authorized glimpse into the life of America's most famous astronaut, Neil Armstrong - the man whose "one small step" changed history.
In First Man, Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this 'magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century' is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.
When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon's surface in 1969, the first man on the moon became a legend. Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong's career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space.
For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. In the years since the Moon landing, rumors swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life.
This book reveals the man behind the myth. In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. In First Man, the personal, technological, epic, and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history's most famous space traveler.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 464
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 29 mm
Edition: Film Tie-In
'Let it be said at once that his book is an outstanding success. It has been immaculately researched and is packed with detail, but written in a way that will appeal to readers of all kinds...this is an important book, and should be in every scientific library.' - Sir Patrick Moore, Times Higher Educational Supplement
'The man was a fine engineer, a good pilot - although there is some dispute about that - patriotic, cool, courageous and hard-working, just the sort of guy you want next to you when the chips are down.' - The Sunday Times
'Although he was the first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong has always been the least public of the Apollo 11 astronauts. He has seldom given interviews, or lent his name to merchandising tat, or haunted the same professional old-boy circuit as his former colleagues... But at 75, he's finally decided to break his silence - or to have it broken for him by his official biographer, James R.Hansen.' - The Sunday Telegraph
'To understand Armstrong on his own terms is to see a large truth of our time...[Hansen's] mastery of detailis put to splendid use. The narrative of the moon mission is crisp and dramatic, the science clear. He deftly takes us back into those few days of global fascination with the adventure of the three distant voyagers and the tense uncertainty about how it would turn out...I finished Hansen's Apollo story with a wholly fresh sense of awe at the magnitude of NASA's achievement...a compelling and nuanced portrait of the astronaut.' - James Tobin, The Chicago Tribune