Some New 2016 Books about Apollo, Only One of Which I might Review


There were several new books published about Apollo in 2016. Here is my list of them. Any additions?

  • French, Francis. Editor. Apollo Pilot: The Memoir of Astronaut Donn Eisele. University of Nebraska Press, 2016. Eisele served on Apollo 7 in 1968, and after his NASA years wrote an unpublished memoir. It is this document that Francis French prepared for publication after his death.
  • Reichl, Eugen, Project Apollo: The Early Years, 1961–1967. Schiffer, 2016 [America in Space Series]. An unoriginal history that tries to relate early years of Apollo.
  • Spudis, Paul D. The Value of the Moon: How to Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon’s Resources. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2016. The blurb reads: “In The Value of the Moon, lunar scientist Paul Spudis argues that the U.S. can and should return to the Moon in order to remain a world leader in space utilization and development and a participant in and beneficiary of a new lunar economy.”
  • Woods, David. NASA Saturn V—1967–1973 (Apollo 4 to Apollo 17 & Skylab). Haynes Publishing UK, 2016 [Owner’s Workshop Manual]. David Woods does solid work on the history of spaceflight. This is an example of that, collecting information about the Saturn V launcher developed for the Moon program.
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3 Responses to Some New 2016 Books about Apollo, Only One of Which I might Review

  1. mike shupp says:

    Hmmm … you didn’t ask for readers to choose among these titles for which might merit your review, but I’ll cast a vote anyhow for the David Woods book. We’re at a point where designing and building new rockets — at Elon Musk’s SpaceX, at Jeff Bezo’s Blue Horizons, at Boeing, and Sierra Nevada Corp, in Russia and China and Sweden and India and other states — is a major part of the world-wide space enterprise. The Saturn V was hugely successful at transporting men to the moon and back, but that accomplishment seems somewhat barren today, especially as none of the modern rockets trace their heritage back to it. So a perspective on what was good and bad, or wise and sad, or genius and foolishness in Saturn’s development would be of interest.

    And I’d cast a half-vote for Spudnis’s The Value of the Moon. It’s not intended as Apollo history, after all, but as advocacy for future space policy which might eventually have implications for manned spaceflight, and probably should be evaluated for how well it does that job. (And I sort of have doubts; I’ve followed Spudnis’ website for several years now, I’m confident he knows he knows his material, but he doesn’t seem to be argue his case as effectively as could be desired.)

    My two cents, or perhaps four.

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  2. mike shupp says:

    Another couple of pennies ….

    Not a 2016 book, but a 2015 book, John Logsdon’s After Apollo? has been out for a while now and has been surprisingly neglected. I don’t know if it’s unpopular for reminding Americans of the existence of Richard Nixon or as a chronicle for a major enterprise falling downhill, but given the praise Logsdon got for his books about Kennedy and Apollo, the lack of attention this one received is surprising. Perhaps the book — and its reception — might deserve a look?

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  3. Glen Swanson says:

    I keep hoping to see your “After Apollo” (Oxford University Press) in press since it was first announced back in 2013. Now that you are retired, I’m sure it will be out in 2019 in time for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Until then, I might suggest taking a look at Martha Lemasters 2016 book “The Step: One Woman’s Journey to Finding Her Own Happiness and Success During the Apollo Space Program.” In the wake of the success of “Hidden Figures,” Lemasters’ book is a delight to read.

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