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[i]Von Braun has been the subject of at least nine previous English-language biographies. But Neufeld's version, exhaustively researched in German and American archives and written in clear, fast-paced prose, offers the most complete, fully documented and critical account that the imperfect documentary record is likely to yield. Neufeld acclaims him "the most influential rocket engineer and spaceflight advocate of the 20th century." This book amply supports that judgment.
Though most previous biographies have been hagiographic celebrations, some have noted his association with Ñ if not his commission of Ñ war crimes in Hitler's Germany. Neufeld also sees him as a modern-day Faust, whose power came from a bargain with the devil. The devil in Neufeld's analogy is Nazi Germany in general and Hitler in particular, from whom von Braun personally received the cherished title of "Professor." Neufeld scours the historical record for evidence of von Braun's crimes, rehearsing his membership in the SS, his development of deadly weapons and, most important, his participation in the notorious slave labor program that built his V-2s at a horrible human cost.[/i]
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