Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon - Alan Shepard

2 minute read Published: 2018-12-28

GoodReads summary: The never-before-told story of the courage, dedication, and teamwork that made the journey to the moon possible--an intense human drama of the sacrifices and risks asked of a remarkable group of astronauts. Shepard and Slayton, part of the pioneering space program from the beginning, tell this fascinating inside story. 32 pages of photos.


I'm giving this book no stars because it deserves none.

First of all, the writing style is terrible. At the very start, the way the author writes makes you wonder if this is really a book about history or if it is plain fiction. There are ways to write about historic events -- and I don't mean you can't go a little overboard while writing about it -- but the way the story is told is more akin to fiction than actual reporting of events.

Second, this is as "MURRICA!" as a book can get. All American events are described as passionate as possible, while Russian events -- you know, the guys who put a man in space before the US and who did a spacewalk before the US -- as described as plain as possible. This gets to the point that, at the first half of the book, events are timed after American successes and Russian failures; it gets to the incredible insensitive point when talking about Apollo 15 and the moonbuggy and how it was easier to carry stuff on the moon compared to the Apollo 14 mission (which is probably the longest part of the book, even supplanting the Apollo 11, the first mission to reach the moon) and, oh, 3 Russians died a bit before -- mentioned as a simple "matter of fact" than an actual accident and something that shouldn't happen.

I'm not saying "Yeah, Russians are part of the Apollo mission" 'cause that would be stupid, but JFK said the space missions were a mission to humanity and even Neil Armstrong said reaching the moon was a giant leap for mankind, but this book takes "humanity" and throws out of the window. 'Cause the important stuff is that American win and Russians lose and fuck Russians, amirite? (That was sarcastic, in case you didn't noticed.)

And the last chapter is purely political instead of focusing on history.

If the whole book was Alan Shepard telling his side of the history -- and focusing on that instead of going all the way to the points where Shepard had no interaction with -- then yeah, it could be a reasonably good book. But the way it is told, it's Alan Shepard story hidden in a bunch of other stuff.