REYNOLDS, DAVID WEST. Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon, Harcourt: Washington & San Diego, May 20, 2002. $35.00 hardcover. 272 pp. Numerous color and black & white photographs.
Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon at Amazon.com
This illustrated volume traces America's Moon odyssey from its earliest origins to its ultimate conclusion. In Apollo Reynolds takes the reader along on the adventure of the century but also places the Apollo project in its social and historical context. To gain personal experience Reynolds stepped inside an original Lunar Module trainer cockpit, tried on lunar surface gloves, sat at the helm of a Lunar Rover and climbed backwards down a Lunar Module landing stage retracing the steps of Neil Armstrong. Reynolds also directed the creation of beautiful new illustrations for Apollo, which show in detail the lunar landing sites, launch and re-entry trajectories, and the inner workings of Apollo hardware, including a four-page gatefold of the Saturn V. Apollo is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of full-color images, including many rare and some never-before-published images.
Jargon translated into plain English
"My intent with this book is to make the Apollo achievement more accessible to a broad audience," Reynolds says. "Instead of technical jargon, I explain things in plain terms. I call NASA's 'Integrated Thermal and Micrometeoroid Garment,' the 'white spacesuit cover layer,' for instance. As long as you define your terms, there's no reason not to use plain English in cases like this. Any Apollo fan knows what the R.C.S. is, but when I say 'maneuvering thrusters' a lot more people understand right away. For space enthusiasts, I've packed the book with detail including non-traditional topics like military space plans of the 1960's and plans for canceled Apollo missions, including unpublished NASA artwork from the Apollo X program. I commissioned spacecraft and rocket models for this book, and have included the spectacular lunar surface imagery created by space historian David Harland, who has seamlessly stitched together original Apollo photography into new panoramas."
NASA's Chief Historian Roger Launius has called the book "a major contribution to Apollo literature." Apollo astronauts Wally Schirra and Gene Cernan contributed the Foreword and Afterword, and the introduction is by Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Aviation Curator Von Hardesty.
"This title is definitely one of the best books written about Apollo in recent years."--Gilbert Taylor for the American Library Association, Booklist
"Among the many books written on the history of the Apollo program, this one, by classical archaeologist Reynolds, stands out. ...The author's explanations of complex technological matters are easy to understand, and readers will appreciate the small details he recounts, such as how astronauts repaired a fender on the lunar rover with duct tape. Recommended for all libraries.."--Jeffrey Beall, University of Colorado Library, Denver, Library Journal
"This is it! David West Reynolds has portrayed the heart and soul of the dreamers, theorists, realists, and courageous space voyagers who made dreams happen. Reynolds's narrative presents Apollo in a way that everyone can understand. After reading this, there can be no doubt that the definitive popular account of Apollo has finally been written."--Irene Willhite, Curator, U.S. Space & Rocket Center
"A lot of books have come out on space exploration. I look through them and just read the parts that interest me. I actually read David's book all the way through. That should tell you something."--Wally Schirra, Mission Commander of Apollo 7 and one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, from the book's Foreword