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  Dr. Space: Life of Wernher von Braun (Ward)

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Author Topic:   Dr. Space: Life of Wernher von Braun (Ward)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-11-2004 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received from Boggs SpaceBooks:
We are delighted to announce a new book from Smithsonian Institution Press which will be out this June. It is a new biography of Wernher von Braun by the former editor of the Huntsville (Alabama) Times, Bob Ward. Bob covered the space program for the Times from the early days and had a long term personal relationship with von Braun. It's been our pleasure to count Bob as a friend and we have been treated to early drafts of this enlightening and definitive biography. It is personal, insightful and fascinating.
From the publisher:
From Nazi party member to the director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (and the brains behind the United States' moon landing), Wernher von Braun continues to be a compelling and controversial figure in American history. He was the guiding light for American space flight, creating the breakthrough technologies of the Mercury and Apollo programs, yet his association with the Nazi party during World War II has overshadowed his accomplishments. Bob Ward devoted more than ten years of research and conducted 150 interviews with von Braun's colleagues to complete this behind-the-scenes biography, and he looks into the stories, heroics, and contradictions to paint a full portrait of an enigmatic man. 50 b/w photographs.

Richard
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posted 02-12-2004 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This sounds like a great book! Especially with the recent threads pointing to the controversy of von Braun. Maybe this will clear up some of those questions.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-01-2004 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Boggs SpaceBooks June 1 Catalog:
The Smithsonian Press publication of Bob Ward's excellent biography of Mr. Space has been canceled. Mr. Ward is looking for another publisher and we believe he will find one. We will let you know when copies signed by Bob are available.
Interestingly, before it was dropped by the SI Press, an advanced galley was reviewed by the American Library Association's Booklist:
The Nazis recruited him, then jailed him. America lionized him--just before locking him out of the defining hierarchy for his profession. The puzzling contrarieties in the life of Wernher von Braun come into sharp focus in this balanced and much-needed biography of a brilliant but often maligned rocket maker.

Hawkman
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Posts: 398
From: Union, New Jersey
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 06-02-2004 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkman   Click Here to Email Hawkman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any chance that this is some 'politically correct' move on the part of the Smithsonian?

Dwayne Day
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posted 06-06-2004 01:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hawkman:
Any chance that this is some 'politically correct' move on the part of the Smithsonian?
I have no good inside information on this, but I suspect that it is probably due to one or two things (or a combination of them). It may be because the book is not that good. SI Press does a peer review of its manuscripts and it is possible that the book was rejected for that reason. Also, several months back somebody told me that SI Press was backing away from doing space books. The Press has undergone some turbulent management in the past few years. Keep in mind that aviation and space is only a small part of what SI Press actually does. They also print art books and catalogs and things like that.

Dwayne Day
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posted 10-16-2004 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Washington Post: Smithsonian To Overhaul Its Unprofitable Book Division
The Smithsonian Institution is dismantling Smithsonian Books, a widely respected publishing division of the museum and research complex that dates back 156 years.

Driven by a net loss of $2 million in the last decade, officials say, the move will result in publishing fewer scholarly books and in the enlistment of corporate partners to make the Smithsonian brand more profitable. Critics worry that overhauling the book unit will disrupt an essential part of James Smithson's mandate for the institution -- "the increase and diffusion of knowledge."

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 03-11-2009 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now being released in paperback:

Dr. Space: The Life of Werner Von Braun
by Bob Ward

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press (September 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1591149274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591149279
Here is the publisher's web site (referring to the hardback edition - 2005).

Chris.

Editor's note: As indicated by Chris, the earlier "Mr. Space" became "Dr. Space" when published in 2005 by the US Naval Institute Press. The earlier posts under this thread discuss the book before it was dropped by the Smithsonian Press.

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