It was a time of bold new technology, historic moments, and international jousting on the final frontier. But it was also a time of human drama, of moments less public but no less dramatic in the lives of those who made the golden age of space flight happen.
These are the moments and the lives that Into That Silent Sea captures, a book that tells the intimate stories of the men and women, American and Russian, who made the space race their own and gave the era its compelling character. These minutes chronicle a varied and riveting cavalcade of human stories, including a look at Yuri Gagarin's harrowing childhood in war-ravaged Russia and Alan Shepard's firm purchase on the American dream. It also examines the controversial career of cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and the remarkable struggle and ultimate disappointment of her American counterparts. It tries to uncover the truth behind the allegations that shadowed Gus Grissom and Scott Carpenter and then allows the listener to share the heart-stopping suspense of Alexei Leonov's near-fatal first spacewalk.
Through dozens of interviews and access to Russian and American official documents and family records, the authors bring to life the experiences that shaped the lives of the first astronauts and cosmonauts and forever changed their world and ours.
The book is published by University of Nebraska Press.
"French and Burgess's history will engage the space-program audience." (Booklist)
"Eminently readable, well-crafted.... The merits of this popular history rest in the elegant narrative and the authors' thoughtful awareness of the space explorer genre." (Air & Space Smithsonian)
"Avid readers will revel in the authors' masterful compilation of these straight-forward, detailed mini-biographies." (Air Power History)
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