Wednesday, October 16, 2013

To the Moon

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen

Summary: On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch thirty-eight-year-old American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong become the first person to step on the surface of another heavenly body. Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment. In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and an individual.

Review: A very in depth look at Neil Armstrong’s life up until and during the Apollo 11 mission.

As someone who is fascinated by space race history and space exploration and the efforts to get us there, it was about time that I read a biography about one of the astronauts. As the first man who was on the moon, Neil Armstrong is a logical choice although I must admit that I picked this book because of a challenge (although it has been on my “to be read” shelf for a while). This biography is an authorized biography and goes very in depth about Armstrong’s life leading up to and during the Apollo 11 mission. It’s almost too much information and makes for a slow read at times.

Although it does get less noticeable as the book goes on, the author does treat Neil Armstrong as someone who can do no wrong and who is so great and wonderful. Yes I get that Neil Armstrong is a hero and needed that extra special something to make it as a test pilot and later an astronaut, but enough already. Armstrong is an intensively personal person, which is only made harder as the first man on the moon. I would have liked more details about Armstrong’s life after the Apollo 11 landing. The story at the very end was very cute.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interested in the space program or Neil Armstrong.

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