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Race to the moon : America's duel with the Soviets

by Breuer, William B., 1922-2010.

Format: Print Book 1993
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 629.45 B84
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  629.45 B84

Race to the Moon is a suspenseful thriller about the 30-year clash between the United States and the Soviet Union to be the first to put a man on the moon. This true account is heavy with intrigue, espionage, and controversy. Beginning with a 1961 pledge by President John F. Kennedy to plant the Stars and Stripes on the lunar surface by the end of the decade, the story flashes back to the first days of World War II. At that time, England was tipped off by a high Nazi official that the Third Reich was developing revolutionary long-range rockets.

This same source clandestinely provided documents that shocked British scientists: The Germans were 25 years ahead of England and the United States in rocket development! And then, in September 1944, 60-foot-long V-2 rockets, for which there was no defense, began raining down on London, causing enormous destruction and loss of life. Even while the fighting was still raging in Germany in the spring of 1945, a handful of young U.S. Army officers scored a colossal coup: They connived to steal 100 of the huge V-2s that had been found in an underground factory. They were dismantled and slipped by train out of Germany, destination White Sands, New Mexico. Then began a no-holds-barred search for German rocket scientists in the chaos of a defeated Third Reich, with the Americans and British on one side and the Russians on the other. Within weeks of the close of the war, Wernher von Braun and 126 of his rocket team members were corraled, shipped to the United States, and began working secretly on missile development. At the same time, the Soviets literally kidnapped other German rocket scientists and sent them to Russia to continue their space work. In the years ahead, Wernher von Braun and his German rocket team, nearly all of whom became naturalized citizens of the United States, collaborated with American scientists to overcome enormous space achievements by the Soviets--and bungling by Washington politicians--to send Neil Armstrong scampering about on the moon in 1969.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The latest of Breuer's well-written books is more like his espionage histories--Hoodwinking Hitler [BKL Ap 1 93], for instance--than like his more numerous battle and campaign narratives. It tells the story of the U.S.-Soviet space competition through the first moon landing, emphasizing the early years, when the focus of the competition was upon acquiring the lion's share of equipment and personnel from Nazi Germany's rocket program. Using abundant primary and secondary sources, many recently declassified, Breuer unfolds an engrossing narrative that will make space advocates weep with frustration when they see how much faster and farther we could have gone in laying the foundations of a permanent American space effort. ~--Roland Green"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "On May 25, 1961, President John Kennedy declared, ``I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon.'' Thus began our intense contest with the Russians to ``conquer'' space. Focusing largely on the U.S., Breuer traces NASA's early failures and the ultimate success of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, culminating in the historic moment when astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969. This informative account flashes back to the American recruitment of German rocketeers, most notably Wernher von Braun, during the final months of WW II and the simultaneous abduction of German missile experts such as von Braun's rival, Helmut Grotrupp, by the Russians. As to the practical applications of space exploration, Breuer ( Hitler's Undercover War ) dilates convincingly on the ``extremely broad range of benefits enhancing the lives of virtually every American.'' Photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Project Apollo (U.S.)
Space flight to the moon -- History.
Rocketry -- Research -- Germany -- History.
Publisher Westport, Conn. :Praeger,1993
Language English
Description x, 222 pages, 18 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [217]-218) and index.
ISBN 0275944816 (alk. paper) :
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