On October 4, 1957, a time of Cold War paranoia, the Soviet Union secretly launched the Earth's first artificial moon. No bigger than a basketball, the tiny satellite was powered by a car battery. Yet, for all its simplicity, Sputnik stunned the world.Based on extensive research in the US and newly opened archives in the former USSR, Red Moon Rising tells the story of five extraordinary months in the history of technology and the rivalry between two superpowers. It takes us inside the Kremlin and introduces the Soviet engineer Korolev, the charismatic, politically-minded visionary who motivated Khruschev to support what others dismissed as a ridiculous program. Korolev is virtually unknown to most Americans, yet it is because of him that NASA exists, that college loan programs were started in the U.S., and that Kennedy and Johnson became presidents. Character driven, suspenseful, and dramatic, Red Moon Rising unveils the politics, people, science, and mindset behind a critical and transformative world event.More
"The writing is fast-paced and crisp...Yet even more than his absorbing narrative, Brzezinski's final analysis has staying power." (Publishers Weekly)
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Superb context behind the early space race.
Although I bought Red Moon Rising with a particular interest in the space race, I actually found the political background more interesting with just the right amount of detail to give an exciting listen.
For anyone with an interest in early cold war politics and / or the early space race, there is something here to take away but the combination of both is really well done.