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  Two Sides of the Moon (Alexei Leonov, David Scott)

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Author Topic:   Two Sides of the Moon (Alexei Leonov, David Scott)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28127
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2004 12:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race
by Alexei Leonov and David Scott
Growing up on either side of the Iron Curtain, Alexei Leonov and David Scott shared the same dream - to become a pilot. Excelling at flying, they became elite fighter pilots, and were chosen by their countries' burgeoning space programmes to be part of the greatest technological race ever - to land a man on the moon. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first man to walk in space. It was a feat that won him a place in history, but almost cost him his life.

A year later, in 1966, astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong were seconds away from dying as their spacecraft, Gemini 8, spun violently out of control across space. Both men survived against dramatic odds and went on to fly their own lunar missions: Armstrong to command Apollo 11 and Scott to command the most complex expedition in the history of exploration, Apollo 15. Spending three days on the moon, Scott became the seventh man to walk on its breathtaking surface.

Marking a new age of US/USSR co-operation, the Apollo Soyuz Test Project brought Scott and Leonov together, finally ending the Cold War silence and building a friendship that would last for decades.

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (September 23, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0312308655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312308650

nasamad
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Posts: 1897
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 02-06-2004 05:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just wishing there was a biography of Dave Scott the other day!

I've never seen a dual bio like this before but it sounds great, I pray Leonov pops back to the UK for some book signings with Scott!

William
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Posts: 43
From: Terre Haute IN
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 02-06-2004 07:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William   Click Here to Email William     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is great news... Am looking forward to reading the book.

kucharek
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Posts: 38
From: Karlsruhe, Germany
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 02-06-2004 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kucharek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds very promising. Sure a must-buy.

As an aside, it seems to me that it is meanwhile pretty difficult to publish a serious book on Apollo without getting a foreword by Tom Hanks...

FFrench
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Posts: 3094
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-06-2004 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dave Scott gave a public talk at the flight museum in Santa Monica as part of the Aurora Auction events in April 2002. As part of that talk, here is what he said about the book at the time:
I have just embarked on writing a book with Alexei Leonov — our parallel biographies. He'd going to talk about Voskhod 2, and I am going to talk about Gemini 8. Basically our race to the Moon, and the Cold War - how each side saw the other side, and how we really got to the Moon - as a political effort.

We plan to explore the cultural differences, our insights into the program, the human nature of the program. Not technical, not scientific, but why there was a race, what was in the race, who might have won the race, from the standpoint of our individual missions, which were a part of the race to the Moon. Some of the exciting events, and a comparison of our lives, as Leonov and I are about the same age, our backgrounds are about the same - we were both fighter pilots. But we went through completely different cultures.

So it it not so much a story about me or Alexei, as a story about different cultures and societies, and how they put together a competitive race. What we are trying to do is find items of interest. It's a great story.

Frederic Janik
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Posts: 308
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 03-07-2004 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frederic Janik   Click Here to Email Frederic Janik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nasamad:
I've never seen a dual bio like this before...
I'm sure you're familiar with the "dual bio" called Moonshot (Slayton - Shepard).

Richard
New Member

Posts: 5
From: Morrisonville, New York USA
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 03-07-2004 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another very interesting "dual biography" space book is The Race. Although it is not technically a biography, it does portray the Soviet and American space races side by side.

hinkler
Member

Posts: 442
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 06-05-2004 01:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just finished reading "Two Sides of the Moon".

It was interesting to read Alexei Leonov's thoughts on the crash that killed Gagarin.

It was also interesting to read Dave Scott's version of the cover scandal. I will be interested to hear others thoughts on what he has written.

I personally would have preferred two separate autobiographies by Leonov and Scott.

Still a good book to add to the space library though.

Tom
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Posts: 1304
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 06-05-2004 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does Dave Scott go into much detail surrounding his Gemini 8 and Apollo 9 and 15 missions?

hinkler
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Posts: 442
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 06-05-2004 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not as much detail as I would like. Most detail on Apollo 15 and less on Apollo 9 and Gemini 8.

Sadly he does not have a lot to say about his fellow crew members.

Only my opinion though for what it is worth. Still a good book to buy though.

Dennis Talbot
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Posts: 172
From: Terrigal NSW Australia
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 06-05-2004 06:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis Talbot   Click Here to Email Dennis Talbot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am only up to the Gemini 8 section but I have found what I think is the greatest ever letter to an astronaut/cosmonaut in the letter that Leonov got from The Chicken.

Talk about a life changing event.

rsynge
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Posts: 62
From: UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 06-18-2004 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rsynge   Click Here to Email rsynge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's an interesting read. For me, the most unusual part is Dave Scott's version of the cover scandal where he appears to blame Deke Slayton for the whole mess. He infers that Slayton actually fixed up the whole deal with the stamp dealer before the flight and knew all about what was going on.

If this is true, it shows Slayton in a very different light. It would be interesting to know Al Worden's views on this to see if they correlate with Scott's memories.

Scott
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Posts: 3294
From: Houston, TX
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-18-2004 03:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't believe it for a minute. I only wish Slayton were still alive to defend himself.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2525
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-18-2004 05:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understood that Al Worden could set the record straight about the whole stamp affair; that there is a lot more to the story than meets the eye.

TrueNorth
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Posts: 158
From: Bathurst, NB, Canada
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 04-18-2005 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TrueNorth   Click Here to Email TrueNorth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just finished the book. I thought it was excellent. To be honest, I have never made the effort to learn a whole lot about the Russian space programme, and so Leonov's part was extremely interesting, especially his insights into Gagarin and Korolev. And what a compelling and incredible life Leonov has lived.

Dave Scott's part was better than expected. He tells his story in very readable and comfortable way. His thoughts and descriptions of what it was like up there rival Cernan's. I thought he was classy throughout. I do wish however that he would have addressed Deke's version (from "Deke") directly. Instead he makes no mention that this was a point of contention.

ed zigoy
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Posts: 25
From: Portland,OR,USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-12-2013 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ed zigoy   Click Here to Email ed zigoy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In "Two Sides of the Moon" (on page 39), Leonov claims in a 1965 first visit to Cuba to have met with Ernest Hemingway and to tell him, "The Old Man and the Sea" was "Gagarin's favorite book," when in fact author Hemingway left Cuba in July 1960 and killed himself in Idaho a year later.

So what's going on here?

Lev M
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Posts: 74
From: Canada
Registered: Nov 2012

posted 11-12-2013 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lev M   Click Here to Email Lev M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Leonov visited Cuba in August 1965.

My guess is he didn't know. USSR could try to avoid informing its citizens about the last years of Hemingway (moving to the States and the death).

Lasv3
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Posts: 234
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 11-12-2013 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lasv3   Click Here to Email Lasv3     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book "Two Sides of the Moon" has been published in 2004, nearly forty years after Leonov's visit of Cuba. One of the explanations of this very strange discrepancy could be Mr. Leonov simply mixed his wish to meet the famous writer with the reality when writing the book after so many years. Just keep on mind how many meetings, events and trips he made after his historical flight, so this memory glitch could be understood.

Anyway, the book correctors were to find this discrepancy before going to print.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1590
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-13-2013 03:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am truly at a loss to explain some of the glaring errors on the part of Leonov in this book, and seriously wonder how much of an input he had in it.

For starters, he goes into a lengthy explanation of how four cosmonauts (Nelyubov, Filatyev, Anikeyev and Rafikov) got into serious trouble in March 1963 and all were dismissed from the cosmonaut team. But as one who was involved in casting a vote for their removal, Leonov should know that Mars Rafikov was actually dismissed from the cosmonaut team a full year earlier in March 1962 on a totally unrelated matter.

Then he says in regard to the sad death of Valentin Bondarenko, burned to death in a pressure chamber fire, that he was given a "big funeral." Bondarenko's identity was a state secret, and his funeral was only a smsll family affair. Even his gravestone did not denote his cosmonaut status until 25 years later.

I know I've seen a lot or errors in Leonov's sections of the book, and it's hard to have faith in anything he says when so much is patently incorrect. So who DID write it for him?

bwhite1976
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Posts: 177
From: belleville, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 11-13-2013 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lasv3:
One of the explanations of this very strange discrepancy could be Mr. Leonov simply mixed his wish to meet the famous writer with the reality when writing the book after so many years. Just keep on mind how many meetings, events and trips he made after his historical flight, so this memory glitch could be understood.
I completely agree with your assessment.

A while ago I was working on a writing project that dealt with a B-52 that broke apart and crashed near Savage Mountain, PA in 1964. I had met a gentleman, now in his mid-eighties, who claimed he was one of the first people on the scene of the crash and had found a pilot who had ejected from the B-52. His story was full of all of the right details, the location, the time. It was a vivid, first hand account.

In my research however, I quickly found a newspaper article published right after the crash that confirmed his story exactly, down to the weather conditions, state of the pilot he found, location, etc. There was just one problem. My witness wasn't the person who found the pilot. The newspaper interviewed the man who had found the pilot, had pictures of him, etc.

Now, this man I talked with is a gentleman, a war veteran and a good person. I think he believes he is telling me the truth. Over the decades his vivid memories of the event, maybe his retelling of the story so many time (he lives about 30 minutes from the crash site also) have turned something he read in a newspaper or talked about with friends into something he believes he witnessed and participated in first hand.

Long story short, time can be quite a rift to cross, when trying to verify someone's story and sometimes the results can be unexpected.

NJSPACEFAN
Member

Posts: 96
From: Princeton, NJ, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 11-14-2013 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NJSPACEFAN   Click Here to Email NJSPACEFAN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While the gentleman in his 80's is making claims to those who talk to him of being a witness based on something he read, and lived near is whimsically natured; a written published autogbiography for a nice payday when you're 69-70 and reasonably sharp should be as factual as possible in reporting, and frankly caught by a major publishers editors.

jvertrees
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Posts: 97
From: Crestwood, MO
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 11-14-2013 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jvertrees   Click Here to Email jvertrees     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting information regarding this book. Mr. Leonov also worked with Tom Stafford for "We Have Capture". The book is formatted almost the same way, Stafford section followed with a Leonov section. My study and reading has been largely dominated by the US side. Are their similar "errors" in "We Have Capture"?

All times are CT (US)

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