Book review: The Unsung heroes get their due.

I published the following review on Amazon of the book, “Apollo Moon Missions: The Unsung Heroes. By Billy Watkins.”

It might be appropriate that nearly 35 years later after the last Apollo mission (1972) names like Armstrong, Aldrin, and Lovell immediately conjour up images of the first moonlanding and the near tragic mishap of Apollo 13, thanks to Ron Howard. But if it weren’t for people like Bales, McCandless, Underwood and Hatleberg – and the countless scores like them – the American public might not have even remembered the men that flew on the Apollo missions in the first place.

Watkins has done a great service to space history specifically, and this cultural experiment we call late 20th century America, by giving us fourteen glimpses into the lives of the unsung heroes behind the Apollo mission. One could only wish we had access to many more of the stories of people like Joseph Laitin, Joe Schmidt and Rodney Rose.

Knowing what the average person does about the Apollo heroes (i.e., the astronauts) gives one a foundation to appreciate what the Apollo missions accomplished and what they meant to our country. But knowing the contributions of the behind-the-scenes support people, like the ones profiled in this book, will make your understanding and appreciation of the Apollo missions go from analog to high-def plasma in 186 short pages.

Today in Space History gives it high marks and a must-read.

Check out all our reviews on Amazon.

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~ by tellinghistory on January 7, 2008.

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