Author Archives: Roger Launius

The Beatles Come to Kansas City, Fifty Years Ago


Time flies. It seems like only yesterday, but it was actually 50 years ago. My colleague, Mike Green, and I published a biography of Charles O. Finley, owner of the Kansas City/Oakland A’s between 1960 and 1980 in the summer of 2010. … Continue reading

Posted in Baseball, Charles O. Finley, History, Oakland A's | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Some Thoughts on Walter Cronkite and the Space Program


Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) was the longtime anchor of the CBS evening news between  1962 and 1981. A dedicated journalist, he became a voice of trust for many Americans in the 1960s, providing news summaries and commentary on the most critical … Continue reading

Posted in Apollo, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame”


Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame. By Zev Chafets. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009. I have enjoyed the National Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (HoF) for many years, having visited … Continue reading

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Announcing: Space Policy and History Forum #13, September 22, 2014


If you are in Washington, D.C., on the afternoon of September 22, 2014, please consider attending the next Space Policy and History Forum, #13 in the series, at the National Air and space Museum. Information on the forum is below. After … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Railroad and the Space Program Revisited: Historical Analogues and the Stimulation of Commercial Space Operations


I am planning to give the paper, “The Railroad and the Space Program Revisited: Historical Analogues and the Stimulation of Commercial Space Operations,” at an upcoming conference entitled “Spinoffs of Mobility: Technology, Risk & Innovation.” This is the theme for … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge”


Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India. By Bernard S. Cohn. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. This is a collection of five previously published essays that explore aspects of British colonialism in India during its five … Continue reading

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Ten Great Improvised Scenes on Film


In honor of the passing of Robin Williams, CineFix has offered up a list of 10 outstanding improvised movie scenes. They include disturbing scenes by Marlo Brando and Martin Sheen from Apocalypse Now, Malcolm McDowell’s “Singing in the Rain” scene … Continue reading

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Announcing the Publication of “Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It”


David H. DeVorkin and I have just published a collected work on the history of the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It appeared in August 2014 (ISBN 978-1-935623-32-8) as part … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Turning the Black Sox White”


Turning the Black Sox White: The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey. By Tim Hornbaker. New York: Sports Publishing, 2014. The dominant interpretation of Charles Comiskey was established for most in the United States by  Eliot Asinof in his 1963 … Continue reading

Posted in Baseball, Charles O. Finley, History, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Guaranteeing Aeronautical Innovation: Is that Possible?


For the twentieth century no set of technological innovations are more intriguing than those associated with aviation. Perhaps no technological development in this century has more fundamentally transformed human life than the airplane, coupled with its ground support apparatus and … Continue reading

Posted in aeronautics, aviation, History, Personal, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment