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About the Book

About the Book

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Now in paperback, an award-winning historian and perennial New York Times bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring challenge, and America’s race to the moon.

On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. AMERICAN MOONSHOT brings together the extraordinary political, cultural and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Drawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures who were key to America’s success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life as never before. AMERICAN MOONSHOT is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible, the technology that enabled us to propel men beyond earth’s orbit to the moon and return them safely, and the geopolitical tensions that spurred Kennedy to commit himself fully to this audacious dream. Brinkley’s ensemble cast of New Frontier characters include rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn and space booster Lyndon Johnson.

A vivid and enthralling chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful and turbulent eras in the nation’s history, AMERICAN MOONSHOT is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity and the boundless American spirit.

Audiobook available, read by Stephen Graybill

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race
by Douglas Brinkley

  • Publication Date: April 14, 2020
  • Genres: History, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0062655078
  • ISBN-13: 9780062655073