Book Review – First Man – James Hansen

This impressively documented and engagingly written biography will stand the test of time.– Library Journal

First Man by James Hansen offers the only approved glimpse into the life of America’s most famed astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the man whose “one small step” created history.

Hansen discovers the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the deeply private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen access to private documents and family sources, this is an unmatched biography of an icon.

When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon’s surface in ‘69, the first man on the moon became a legend. Hansen intensely recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying across North Korea to his developmental transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to piloting Gemini VIII to the first ever space docking. For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation took a personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. In the years since the Moon landing, rumors swirled around Armstrong regarding his dreams of space travel and his beliefs.

This book reveals the man behind the spacesuit. In a powerful exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex heritage of the First Man, as an astronaut and as a human being. In First Man, the personal, technological and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but hesitant hero who will forever be known as history’s most famed spaceman.

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