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  Countdown: An Autobiography (Frank Borman)

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Author Topic:   Countdown: An Autobiography (Frank Borman)
mdmyer
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Posts: 899
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 04-13-2004 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been looking over some listings for Countdown: An Autobiography by Frank Borman. Some used copies of this book are listed as "Silver Arrow" books or editions.

Does anyone know what these "Silver Arrow" listings mean? Does this mean that they are a book club edition or something like that?

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 04-14-2004 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I looked at mine tonight, it is a first edition, and it says:
Silver Arrow Books
William Morrow
New York
I don't know but it seems to me as if Silver Arrow is part of Morrow; mine is not a book club edition. Another way to go about this question is to ask the bookseller: they are usually very aware of a book club edition.

mdmyer
Member

Posts: 899
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 04-14-2004 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a cS member contact me off the forums page and he said that Silver Arrow was the original publishers of the book.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 05-19-2010 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Frank Borman's "Countdown" co-author, Robert Serling, has died at age 82, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Robert J. Serling, one of the nation's top aviation writers and the author of the best-selling novel "The President's Plane Is Missing," has died. He was 92.

Serling, the older brother of "Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling, died May 6 in a hospice facility in Tucson, Ariz., said his wife, Patricia Hoyer. He had been diagnosed with cancer five days earlier.

...his numerous non-fiction and fiction books included the histories of Eastern, Western, TWA, Continental and American Airlines. He also wrote "Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People" and co-authored former astronaut Frank Borman's autobiography "Countdown."

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 05-20-2010 05:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rest in Peace Mr. Serling and thank you.

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1623
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-11-2011 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any opinions on Frank Borman's "Countdown"? Personally I found the last quarter pretty heavy going, or am I being unkind?

crash
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Posts: 195
From: West Sussex, England
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 11-11-2011 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for crash   Click Here to Email crash     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed 'Countdown' especially the last quarter. But that would be due to my aviation connection. It was good to read a book that mixed two of my interests.

It just proves that one person's medicine is another's poison...

Frank Borman came out of his own book as a hard but dedicated individual who did not suffer fools gladly.

Henry Heatherbank
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Posts: 146
From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 11-11-2011 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tykeanaut:
Personally I found the last quarter pretty heavy going, or am I being unkind?
You are not being harsh at all. The book is quite long (440-odd pages), and the second half dealing with Borman's post-NASA career at Eastern Airlines is quite heavy going.

You have to appreciate that the book was written (in my opinion) as a personal catharsis fro Borman after what he perceived as his failure to rescue Eastern from financial failure.

So, with that in mind, it was always going to be heavy on detail and fact, but I still found it a fascinating read.

The NASA chapters, esp. the detail about the aftermath of the Apollo 1 fire and the investigation are excellent.

Personally, I got a lot more out of the book when I had read it for a second time, some years after I first read it.

Hope this helps.

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1623
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 11-11-2011 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, it was his post-NASA career that I found a bit tedious. His career as an astronaut was a good read though.

HistorianMom
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Posts: 92
From: Columbia, Missouri USA
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 11-11-2011 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for HistorianMom   Click Here to Email HistorianMom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have read about a dozen biographies/autobiographies, and Countdown is among my favorites.

Borman is among the astronauts my son and I have not had a chance to meet, and I am really hoping for an opportunity to do so. He comes across as a no-nonsense, does not suffer fools gladly kind of guy. I'm married to a guy like that, so I found myself smiling in recognition in certain passages.

I was kind of put off though, that Borman took credit for the "Earthrise" photo -- I don't know the full story, but isn't it generally agreed that Bill Anders took that picture? Would there have been a consensus on that at the time Countdown was published.

ea757grrl
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Posts: 555
From: South Carolina
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 11-11-2011 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To understand "Countdown" as a book it also helps to remember Robert Serling had an extensive background writing book-length airline histories; they were pretty much "authorized biographies" of these airlines, and although they're sort of "sunny side up" books they're still fun to collect and read (and, unfortunately, they're the only histories of decent length some of these long-defunct airlines will probably ever have).

At any rate, Bob Serling wrote "From The Captain To The Colonel" about Eastern; it was published during Borman's tenure, and readers of one book will find parallels (of course). I believe that also accounts in part for why the section about Eastern is so long - that, and Borman wanted to tell his side of the story after so many years. I also get the impression that even though it didn't end well, Borman considers his management of Eastern on a par with anything he did while at NASA. That's my read, at least.

Henry Heatherbank
Member

Posts: 146
From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 11-11-2011 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HistorianMom:
I was kind of put off though, that Borman took credit for the "Earthrise" photo -- I don't know the full story, but isn't it generally agreed that Bill Anders took that picture?
As I understand it, Anders took the B+W photo (first photo) and Borman took the colour photo (second photo) a few seconds later which got all the publicity, so it seems there is equal credit.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-11-2011 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HistorianMom:
I was kind of put off though, that Borman took credit for the "Earthrise" photo -- I don't know the full story, but isn't it generally agreed that Bill Anders took that picture? Would there have been a consensus on that at the time Countdown was published?

My recollection - without looking at research notes - is that the first time it became publicly recognized that Anders took the color shot was 1998's book "Genesis" by Robert Zimmerman, who researched it carefully.

Before that, Borman, who probably took the far lesser known black and white shot moments earlier, believed himself that he had taken the color shot.

So don't be put off - it was about a decade after Borman's book that public understanding changed, and at the time the book was written it was quite understandable Borman would firmly believe he took the color photo.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 11-11-2011 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Henry Heatherbank:
As I understand it, Anders took the B+W photo (first photo) and Borman took the colour photo (second photo) a few seconds later which got all the publicity, so it seems there is equal credit.
Other way around. The black and white photo Borman probably took is stunning, but overlooked in public consciousness and little-known.

AJ
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Posts: 509
From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 11-11-2011 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a funny moment in, I think, In the Shadow of the Moon, when Jim Lovell is talking about the photo and laughs about Anders taking credit, acknowledging that Anders has every right to.

Henry Heatherbank
Member

Posts: 146
From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 11-12-2011 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FFrench:
Other way around.
Ah, thanks Francis, I stand corrected.

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