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  Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries... (Matthew Brzezinski)

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Author Topic:   Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries... (Matthew Brzezinski)
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 07-10-2007 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age
by Matthew Brzezinski
For the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik, the behind-the-scenes story of the fierce battles on earth that launched the superpowers into space

The spy planes were driving Nikita Khrushchev mad. Whenever America wanted to peer inside the Soviet Union, it launched a U-2, which flew too high to be shot down. But Sergei Korolev, Russia's chief rocket designer, had a riposte: an artificial satellite that would orbit the earth and cross American skies at will. On October 4, 1957, the launch of Korolev's satellite, Sputnik, stunned the world.

In Red Moon Rising, Matthew Brzezinski takes us inside the Kremlin, the White House, secret military facilities, and the halls of Congress to bring to life the Russians and Americans who feared and distrusted their compatriots as much as their superpower rivals. Drawing on original interviews and new documentary sources from both sides of the Cold War divide, he shows how Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower were buffeted by crises of their own creation, leaving the door open to ambitious politicians and scientists to squabble over the heavens and the earth. It is a story rich in the paranoia of the time, with combatants that included two future presidents, survivors of the gulag, corporate chieftains, rehabilitated Nazis, and a general who won the day by refusing to follow orders.

Sputnik set in motion events that led not only to the moon landing but also to cell phones, federally guaranteed student loans, and the wireless Internet. Red Moon Rising recounts the true story of the birth of the space age in dramatic detail, bringing it to life as never before.

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080508147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805081473

collocation
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Posts: 365
From: McLean, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 09-16-2007 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for collocation   Click Here to Email collocation     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From today's Washington Post:
Let's face it: No one cares about space. NASA long ago became the governmental equivalent of NASCAR. The only time non-fans even notice it exists is when something crashes or explodes -- or when an addled astronaut dons space diapers in a bizarro cross-country bid to mace a romantic rival. (These things happen.) Ask any magazine editor: Nothing sells worse than a space cover. And space books? Oh, the horror. Mine sold 17 copies. And that counts my wife's book group.

The latest author to sink his pitons into this Everest of apathy is Matthew Brzezinski, a former Moscow correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. His Red Moon Rising chronicles the Russo-American space race of the mid-1950s. Authors of popular history tend to rise from two schools: those who seek to hook the reader with new information, and those who rely on storytelling skills. Brzezinski, no doubt aware of the challenge before him, springs with vigor from the latter camp. He is a storyteller on steroids, a savvy young cowboy who seizes the narrative bull by the horns, wrestles it to the dirt and furiously ropes up an energetic tale that owes less to F. Scott Fitzgerald than to F. Murray Abraham.

cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-17-2007 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's face it: No one cares about space.
Sad but true.

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

posted 09-19-2007 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As you can see on this thread, Matthew Brzezinski is doing a talk and book signing in San Diego.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 09-28-2007 03:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Review from The Moscow Times by Asif Siddiqi:
Matthew Brzezinski provides an absorbing account of these "hidden rivalries that ignited the space age" in "Red Moon Rising," an expansive work full of colorful characters worthy of a great Cold War novel. Although Brzezinski, a former Moscow correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, often glosses over the messy complexities of history, he displays a particular talent for capturing the human essence of this epic battle -- the small detail of a scene, the odd biographical factoid, the cultural fashions of the day that distinguish his book from the many generic works on the early history of the space program.

micropooz
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Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 09-28-2007 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brzezinski will also be at the National Archives in Washington, DC on Oct. 17. From the NARA website:
Wednesday, October 17, at noon
Jefferson Room
Red Moon Rising

To mark the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, Matthew Brzezinski discusses his new book, Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age. Using original interviews and new documentary sources from both sides of the Cold War, Brzezinski tells how the Soviet Union created Sputnik in response to its inability to shoot down America's U-2 spy planes that flew regularly over Soviet territory. The launch, on October 4, 1957, of an artificial satellite that would orbit the earth and cross American skies at will stunned the world. This is a story rich in the paranoia of the time, with combatants that include two future Presidents, survivors of the gulag, corporate chieftains, rehabilitated Nazis, and a general who won the day by refusing to follow orders.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-15-2007 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We had a great time hosting Matthew Brzezinski for a talk and book signing this weekend. It was great to see people come down from Orange County and even Big Bear to meet him.

He is a very nice guy and a great speaker - very off-the-cuff, has some fascinating and original opinions that he backs up well. His book, similarly, has some different emphases from the usual accounts, such as showing how important LBJ was in the space-race debates during the Eisenhower years, and restoring Medaris to a far more important place in the story compared to the usual emphasis on von Braun.

While I am finding it a very interesting read, it's not designed for the space-enthusiast reader per se. It's going for the general audience, and in this regard I think he takes a good amount of complex engineering and political stories and makes an entertaining, very understandable and insightful read out of them.

MCroft04
Member

Posts: 1219
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 03-11-2011 07:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I enjoyed reading this wonderful book. While it is more focused on historical accounts of the early years of the cold war, it explains how and why the Russian space program developed. The first hand accounts from Sergei Khrushchev brought behind the scenes anecdotes and perspectives most likely not captured in written accounts. I only noticed a few small errors which gives me confidence that I can believe this is an accurate historical account. Well written and engaging. I strongly recommend this book.

All times are CT (US)

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