Category Archives: History

Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Science of Shakespeare”


The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe. By Dan Falk. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’ Press, 2014. I had never before considered the scientific worldview of William Shakespeare. Like almost every other American I had … Continue reading

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The Cold War Origins of Space Access


It is almost a truism that the primary U.S. space launch capabilities were created only because of the challenge of an exceptionally desperate Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the development and deployment of ballistic missiles, space-based intelligence-gathering … Continue reading

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The Legacy of Apollo: 45 Years On


July 2014 marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the epochal lunar landing of Apollo 11 in the summer of 1969. Although President John F. Kennedy had made a public commitment on May 25, 1961, to land an American on the Moon … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Plane Queer”


Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants. By Phil Tiemeyer. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. vii + 288 pp., illus., acknowledgments, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 978-0-520-27477-8. $24.95 (paperback). Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS … Continue reading

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The Apollo Program and the Idea of Progress


It is somewhat trite to suggest that America was founded on the idea of progress and that it remains both an amorphous concept and one central to American national identity. In the 1830s an astute French interpreter of United States … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Pete Rose: An American Dilemma”


Pete Rose: An American Dilemma. By Kostya Kennedy. New York: Sports Illustrated Books, 2014. Pete Rose is an icon, despite all that has happened to him over the years. A player more dedicated than talented he still reigns as the … Continue reading

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Remembering Fred Ordway (1927-2014)


I drink a toast today to a fine gentleman, a gentle man, Frederick I. Ordway III, who passed away last week at the age of 87. Many in the space community know and counted as a good friend Fred. He was … Continue reading

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Announcing My New Study: “Historical Analogs for the Stimulation of Space Commerce”


I have just published as a part of the NASA History Series Historical Analogs for the Stimulation of Space Commerce.  The write-up for it reads: “With the rise of a range of private-sector entrepreneurial firms interested in pursuing space commerce, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Black Seminoles”


The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-Seeking People. By Kenneth W. Porter. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996. I greatly enjoyed this history of the Native Americans of Florida and their intermarriage with escaped slaves in the eighteenth and nineteenth … Continue reading

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The Esoteric Mormon Doctrine of Baptism for the Dead


Many have all wondered about it in Washington, D.C., at one time or another while driving around the Beltway and see the Mormon Temple rising before us like the Emerald City out of Oz. What do the Mormons do in there? … Continue reading

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