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In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden History of the Space Race

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You’ve heard of the space race, but do you know the whole story? The most ambitious race humankind has ever undertaken was masterminded in the shadows by two engineers on opposite sides of the Cold War: Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi officer living in the US, and Sergei Korolev, a Russian rocket designer once jailed for crimes against his country—and your textbooks probab You’ve heard of the space race, but do you know the whole story? The most ambitious race humankind has ever undertaken was masterminded in the shadows by two engineers on opposite sides of the Cold War: Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi officer living in the US, and Sergei Korolev, a Russian rocket designer once jailed for crimes against his country—and your textbooks probably never told you. These two brilliant but controversial rocketeers never met, yet together they reshaped spaceflight and warfare. From Stalin’s brutal gulags and Hitler’s concentration camps to Cape Canaveral and beyond, their simultaneous quests pushed science—and human ingenuity—to the breaking point. Von Braun became an American hero, recognized the world over, while Korolev toiled in obscurity. But as each of these men altered human history, they were eclipsed by their troubled pasts, living out their lives in the shadow of the same moon that drove them to such astonishing feats of scientific achievement. From Amy Cherrix comes the extraordinary hidden story of the space race and the bitter rivalry that took humankind to the moon.


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You’ve heard of the space race, but do you know the whole story? The most ambitious race humankind has ever undertaken was masterminded in the shadows by two engineers on opposite sides of the Cold War: Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi officer living in the US, and Sergei Korolev, a Russian rocket designer once jailed for crimes against his country—and your textbooks probab You’ve heard of the space race, but do you know the whole story? The most ambitious race humankind has ever undertaken was masterminded in the shadows by two engineers on opposite sides of the Cold War: Wernher von Braun, a former Nazi officer living in the US, and Sergei Korolev, a Russian rocket designer once jailed for crimes against his country—and your textbooks probably never told you. These two brilliant but controversial rocketeers never met, yet together they reshaped spaceflight and warfare. From Stalin’s brutal gulags and Hitler’s concentration camps to Cape Canaveral and beyond, their simultaneous quests pushed science—and human ingenuity—to the breaking point. Von Braun became an American hero, recognized the world over, while Korolev toiled in obscurity. But as each of these men altered human history, they were eclipsed by their troubled pasts, living out their lives in the shadow of the same moon that drove them to such astonishing feats of scientific achievement. From Amy Cherrix comes the extraordinary hidden story of the space race and the bitter rivalry that took humankind to the moon.

53 review for In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden History of the Space Race

  1. 4 out of 5

    SRL-0011

    The story of Russia and Germany and how each country contributed knowledge of their want to use rockets as a means of getting into space. This book especially tells the history of Von Braun and his early dealings with Hitler and the Nazi party. I have always heard his name in accordance with the history of NASA but I never heard the story about his move to escape the Nazi era and his acceptance into helping the U.S. space program and NASA. Interesting how little bits of history were hidden about The story of Russia and Germany and how each country contributed knowledge of their want to use rockets as a means of getting into space. This book especially tells the history of Von Braun and his early dealings with Hitler and the Nazi party. I have always heard his name in accordance with the history of NASA but I never heard the story about his move to escape the Nazi era and his acceptance into helping the U.S. space program and NASA. Interesting how little bits of history were hidden about the men behind the space program. This book also shows how animals were used as the first living things put into space and how women were 'shielded" from letting it be known that they also were part in helping attain the achievement of what we have achieved through the space program. Very good read that brings out all the past history that has shaped the space program. Good or bad it happened and benefits were achieved. Especially liked the story of Von Braun, good or evil, we will never truly know. His intelligence was used not for destruction but for the love of conquering space travel as we know it today.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Wow. I learned so much from this quick, fast-paced read about the race to space and the cold war. Brief but comprehensive overview of how Nazi Germany, Russia, and the U.S. (and two individuals in particular) proved to be critical in the rise of rockets, space exploration, and cold war relations. So much information was classified and/or camouflaged from the public in the late 1960s and as we piece this history puzzle together now we see such a different picture emerge. Truly interesting for eve Wow. I learned so much from this quick, fast-paced read about the race to space and the cold war. Brief but comprehensive overview of how Nazi Germany, Russia, and the U.S. (and two individuals in particular) proved to be critical in the rise of rockets, space exploration, and cold war relations. So much information was classified and/or camouflaged from the public in the late 1960s and as we piece this history puzzle together now we see such a different picture emerge. Truly interesting for even those readers who are not history or space enthusiasts. Told in an exciting and page-turning manner sure to entice most middle schoolers and up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    A fascinating history of the space race from WWII through the moon walk in 1969. Cherrix brings history alive for teens and adults who want to know more about how we developed rockets that propelled people into orbit and then to the moon. I learned a lot about Nazi officer and scientist Wernher von Braun who worked in the US after WWII, and Russian engineer Sergei Korolev. More, I gained a better understanding of how the drive to travel into space morphed into the space race. There are plenty of A fascinating history of the space race from WWII through the moon walk in 1969. Cherrix brings history alive for teens and adults who want to know more about how we developed rockets that propelled people into orbit and then to the moon. I learned a lot about Nazi officer and scientist Wernher von Braun who worked in the US after WWII, and Russian engineer Sergei Korolev. More, I gained a better understanding of how the drive to travel into space morphed into the space race. There are plenty of histories, biographies, and sci-fi books on the topic. This is a good one to add to the pile.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Olivia M

    I don’t typically read nonfiction and this reminded me why. It was pretty dry but I learned a lot. It was basically like a book you would read for school. If you like nonfiction and enjoy reading about different rockets than you will love this book. I rated it four stars because it is interesting enough that I didn’t DNF which is a big accomplishment. It is packed with info and lets you create a through understanding of the events in that time period.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kbolt

    Historical telling of the race to space. Facts and background especially of Von Braun who was present with Hitlers Nazis who wanted to use rocket technology. He was accepted in the US and the race to get to the moon was on. Historical points that I have never heard of. Good read that moves quickly and explains clearly. Good read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Pyron

    This is a reciting account of the race between the US and Russia to get the first rocket into space, and the first man on the moon--and challenges the reader to think at what cost. So, so many things I didn't know, so much "hidden history." As my husband said (who is a very critical reader), not a single sentence was superfluous. And be sure to read the Authors Note at the end. Incredible book! This is a reciting account of the race between the US and Russia to get the first rocket into space, and the first man on the moon--and challenges the reader to think at what cost. So, so many things I didn't know, so much "hidden history." As my husband said (who is a very critical reader), not a single sentence was superfluous. And be sure to read the Authors Note at the end. Incredible book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kizer

    This book floored me with it coverage of Wernher von Brun and never known to me before Sergei Korolev. Love the details to history and all the mentions of significant players in the space race.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Booklist review to come

  9. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Kowalski

    3 1/2 stars. An interesting read about the space race between American and Russia using previously classified information to reveal some fascinating secrets.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Foley

    I'd rate the book 3.5 stars if I could but since I found this book in the young adult sections I will rate it 4 stars. The history in the book is good, it's fairly well written, I didn't feel lost with all the information, and learned a lot from the book. I think the book is a great introduction for Teenagers interested in Space, the Space Race, or history. The book throws out some good questions about ethics, absolution, and the hidden cost of humanity's achievements for a younger audience to th I'd rate the book 3.5 stars if I could but since I found this book in the young adult sections I will rate it 4 stars. The history in the book is good, it's fairly well written, I didn't feel lost with all the information, and learned a lot from the book. I think the book is a great introduction for Teenagers interested in Space, the Space Race, or history. The book throws out some good questions about ethics, absolution, and the hidden cost of humanity's achievements for a younger audience to think about or bring up with others. I would have loved to see the book dive more into things like, the questions raised, how the information was handled in Russia once the truth came out, more of the politics in opposition of the space race (before and during), and how science changed (in terms of how we teach science and how things were created/invented in order for us to get to the moon). I wont be too negative since I understand if the book was longer it might be a deterrent or boring to younger people. The book at least got me interested in wanting to learn more so job well done.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus I did not understand how close a connection the US space program had to all manner of WWII organizations and people. When the 50th anniversary of the moon walk was celebrated, I purchased a number of books about NASA and the space race, but my students remain uninterested, even when I point out the connection. This book was well researched and very interesting, and the Cold War connections and von Braun's involvement were fascinating. There were a decent amount of E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus I did not understand how close a connection the US space program had to all manner of WWII organizations and people. When the 50th anniversary of the moon walk was celebrated, I purchased a number of books about NASA and the space race, but my students remain uninterested, even when I point out the connection. This book was well researched and very interesting, and the Cold War connections and von Braun's involvement were fascinating. There were a decent amount of photographs, which always helps. I can see this being a great resource for National History Day projects or pleasure reading for WWII buffs who want to diversify their area of historical interest.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bobbi

  13. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dianna

  15. 4 out of 5

    Van

  16. 4 out of 5

    Niki

  17. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cosmin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sofie Rueter

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jac Frost

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan Maloy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kait Goodwin ★Kait Plus Books★

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Mac

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hudson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

  30. 4 out of 5

    Constance

  31. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Leonard

  32. 4 out of 5

    TheGryphonVera

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Duff

  34. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  35. 5 out of 5

    Ashari Jackson

  36. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Mortrud

  37. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  38. 4 out of 5

    Erica

  39. 5 out of 5

    Israa Ahmed

  40. 5 out of 5

    Lyndene

  41. 4 out of 5

    mia :)

  42. 5 out of 5

    Serena

  43. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  44. 4 out of 5

    Mathilde

  45. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Threadgill

  46. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte

  47. 5 out of 5

    Elise

  48. 4 out of 5

    Katie K

  49. 4 out of 5

    amara✨

  50. 4 out of 5

    Lelantos

  51. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  52. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  53. 5 out of 5

    Jaelin Isquith

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