Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Apollo 8

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission approaching it is no surprise that I have 2 books about Apollo 8 in my pile.  With the knowledge that there is no way we would put both on the MSBA list I have decided to read them back to back.

The title of these gives the reader an idea of the angle.  Apollo 8 came at a pivotal time in America.  There was the Cold War and Space Race with Russia, Kennedy had set the goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 60s, the Vietnam War was going on, not only had JFK been assassinated but in 1968 both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had also been assassinated.  America was is in need of a boost - hope for the future.  Apollo 8 provided that.  We were the first to get to the moon.

The book provides a good background of key events and people that got us to 1968 without being too in depth.  Then it discussed the mission itself focusing in on the earthrise photograph which impacted many people's perceptions of our planet.

There were some distractions in the book early on.  The were several sidebars of information that were plunked in the middle of other text.  I had to go forward several pages to continue with the normal text and then go back to read the sidebar information.  I do have an ARC so maybe that is fixed in the final copy?

This book was a lot longer and more thorough in some aspects.  The book followed the 3 astronauts and the events leading up to and including the flight.  It also included more details about other people involved and what was happening at the command center, etc.

For its length though I thought it was lacking in the awe that the other book inspired.  The famous photo of Earthrise and repercussions were barely mentioned.  For the audience I work with I feel the first title is more accessible and memorable.

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