Robert Kurson | Nonfiction
Rocket Men is another fine non-fiction book by Robert Kurson. I didn’t like it quite as much as I enjoyed Shadow Divers (reviewed 8/19/2018), by the same author, perhaps because of the mystery that was inherent in the story of an unknown sunken vessel, but Kurson’s writing and research were just as intelligent in Rocket Men. He tells the story of Apollo 8 ... the first manned spaceship to orbit the moon. He has such breadth and depth in his writing! Reading Rocket Men, you learn about the three astronauts; their personalities, passions, dreams, values, wives, and families. You will learn about NASA and the scientific, technological, and political challenges endured by this agency to achieve the Apollo 8 mission in just a few months, arriving at its moon orbit on Christmas Eve, 1968. Interwoven with the space story is the state of the country in 1968, a year of great unrest, race riots, the murders of King and Kennedy, the fractious nature of the war in Vietnam, the clashes between hippies and old-time values, and the heating up Cold War, aggravated by the race with Russia for the moon.
Rocket Men is our community’s read this year. Everywhere you go, people are carrying copies of the book and reading it and talking about it. I will hear the author present in just a few days. I heartily recommend Rocket Men and Kurson’s other works. I am awaiting his latest, Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of the Man Who Dared to See, to become available at my library.
(Yes, I know I have been quiet for two months. I am back now!)