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One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey
by Leon Wagener
Tor/Forge Books; $15 new, $10 Nook, $9 Kindle trade paperback reprint edition, 336pp
Release Date: December 4, 2004
This is a biography of the first astronaut who walked on the Moon. One could divide this book into three parts. Chapters 1, 13, and 14 cover the trip to the Moon and back, while chapters 15-17 cover the one-year aftermath. Chapters 2-12 give a biography, including family ancestors, his youth, college, Korean War fighter pilot and NASA test pilot adventures. The last 50 pages, chapters 18-21 and epilogue, cover his last 42 years from 1970-2012. I recall the nitpicking many did when he spoke his first words on the moon and did not pronounce the "a" in "one small step for (a) man." This book makes no mention of that, which I find a little disappointing, but it makes the persuasive case that he and Aldrin and Collins were the best men for the job. There is a fascinating analogy between his nursing a wounded jet fighter over South Korean territory before having to bail out, and piloting the lunar lander to an unplanned safe spot as its fuel ran out. Let's see the next generation of moon walkers match that! ~~ Mike Griffin
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