Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When We Left Earth (01): First on the Moon (Essential Book)

Neil Armstrong; Michael Collins; Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.; Arthur C. Clarke (epilogue): First on the Moon (Little, Brown and Company; 1970; Library of Congress 76-103950; cover artist not indicated).

Pretty much an "instant" book, coming out as it did barely a year after the historic mission. However, it has two strengths: First, it is as close as we're going to get as an autobiography of these three men. Collins has written some autobiographical work, Aldrin has yet to contribute to the bookshelf (that I can find) and Armstrong has an official (and an unofficial) biography out, thus ceding the writing to others.

The second strength is the extensive epilogue by Arthur C. Clarke, a science and science fiction writer that can be cited to have influenced a lot of people to get involved in the field. Remembering the late Walter Cronkite was done a lot this past week; Clarke sat by him during much of the Apollo coverage, providing commentary and bringing his name into many households (who went out and bought, and hopefully read, his books).

Out of print, as far as I know, but worth hunting down.

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