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  Earthrise: How We First Saw Ourselves

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Author Topic:   Earthrise: How We First Saw Ourselves
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-10-2008 04:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Earthrise: How We First Saw Ourselves
by Robert Poole
Earthrise tells the remarkable story of the first photographs of Earth from space and the totally unexpected impact of those images. The Apollo "Earthrise" and "Blue Marble" photographs were beamed across the world some forty years ago. They had an astounding effect, Robert Poole explains, and in fact transformed thinking about the Earth and its environment in a way that echoed throughout religion, culture, and science. Gazing upon our whole planet for the first time, we saw ourselves and our place in the universe with new clarity.

Poole delves into new areas of research and looks at familiar history from fresh perspectives. With intriguing anecdotes and wonderful pictures, he examines afresh the politics of the Apollo missions, the challenges of whole Earth photography, and the story of the behind-the-scenes struggles to get photographs of the Earth put into mission plans. He traces the history of imagined visions of Earth from space and explores what happened when imagination met reality. The photographs of Earth represented a turning point, Poole contends. In their wake, Earth Day was inaugurated, the environmental movement took off, and the first space age ended. People turned their focus back toward Earth, toward the precious and fragile planet we call home.

About the Author
Robert Poole is reader in history, University of Cumbria. He has written and broadcast extensively on history, from witch trials to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and has published in journals from History Today to Past and Present. He lives in Lancaster, England.

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (November 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300137664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300137668

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

posted 04-10-2008 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This sounds like an interesting one - and I really appreciate you bringing these to our attention, as we would otherwise miss many of them - thanks!

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

posted 04-11-2008 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You're most welcome.

And I'm glad it's of any use to cS members!

Chris.

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

posted 12-02-2008 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought that this review was an informative one.

Spoon
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Posts: 69
From: Carlisle, England
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-03-2008 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spoon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just finished this book and it is a cracking little read. It collects a large amount of the astronauts thoughts on viewing the Earth from both LEO and lunar transit/orbit and the effect it has had on their lives. A lot of the quotes you will have read before, but to have them all in one place and put into such a perspective is worth the price alone.

There is a very interesting discussion with regards to the views of the Earth and the differing ways they have been captured by both unmanned and manned craft, the impact of the pictures on people and the media, and the subsequent surge in the enviromental movement, certainly after the Apollo 8 "Earthrise" photo and the Apollo 17 "blue marble". The author attempts to put the pictures into a historical perspective with regards to humanities potential move into the cosmos and feelings for the the "Mother Earth", and he succeeds in this task.

He has done a great deal of research and done it well, providing a very fulfilling read.

Highly recommended for a different view of the space programme.

Ian.

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

posted 12-04-2008 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Poole has created an interesting website to accompany the book, with color photos of many of the Earth-from-space images he writes about.

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

posted 12-10-2008 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished this book today, and found it an engrossing read - an intriguing look at how humans view our planet from afar. What I found most interesting was not just the story of how images have been taken of our planet from space, but also how the taking of such images has apparently been long anticipated in human history. Through studies of paintings and writings made before the Space Age, Poole shows that the impact of such images was anticipated long before the images were made. He goes on to discuss how the images, when made, seem to have made a deep impression on a burgeoning environmental and conservation movement. An interesting study of how the precise literalism of hard engineering can awaken more nebulous, imaginative, creative free-thinking on a large scale.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 01-05-2009 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Poole's book gets an early mention in Nature editor Oliver Morton's December 24 op-ed for The New York Times:
The photograph of that earthrise by the astronaut Bill Anders forms part of the Apollo program's enduring legacy -- eclipsing, in many memories, any discoveries about the Moon or renewed sense of national pride. It and other pictures looking back at the Earth provided a new perspective on the thing that all humanity shares. As Robert Poole documents in his history, "Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth," that perspective had deep cultural effects, notably in the emotional resonance it offered the growing environmental movement. Seen from the Moon, the Earth seemed so small, so isolated, so terribly fragile.

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 03-23-2009 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An interesting review of the book on The Space Review today.

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