I recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the story behind the Sovjet space program. You will also learn a lot about their early missile program, and how the Sovjet leaders thought about space travel.
Charles is a great narrater, that made this story interesting and easy to listen to, also for a person that don't have English as their first language (like myself)
This audio book kept me listening to the end, never a dull moment!!!! I wish all historical audio books were as interesting as this one.
I liked the book. Some interesting history and the background to the dawn of the space race. The narrator had a tone and pace that was neither over-bearing or monotonous.
It was revelation to learn how space age only come to be as collateral of nuclear proliferation and that (on USSR side at least) people most deserving were doomed to live in absolute anonymity.
Listening to recreation of moments when first satellite was launched, even with having hindsight of how it went (spoiler alert - it was success :) I was still experiencing uncertainty.
Definitely, since starting it I used every moment I could spare from work to listen.
It got me hooked on exploring more books on space race
This is more than just a simple tale about Sputnik. It is a comprehensive detailing of what led up to it and the ramifications for both the East & West. It is read well and the writing is written with an eye to the dramatic, thus it is well worth listening to.
Interesting story. Seems a little light. It was interesting to learn about Sergei Korolev and Bruce Medaris, but I didn't get more than a quick sketch of each of these figures. There are plenty of little details of great interest, about the founding of NASA and DARPA, which are included in the story. It was also interesting views of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Johnson. I do think it's worth a read.
The book does manage to be informative and interesting, but seemingly in spite of itself. The narration makes the worst of purple prose by reading it off like a movie trailer. The try-hard prose would've been unfortunate enough if read normally, but the dramatic reading veers into outright irritating. Ending chapters with "sinister climax! Suspense!" sound bites is just insult added to injury. The subject matter is interesting enough on its own; the flair actively detracts.
I inside look at the space race and the cold war politics that drove it. I learned so much from this book. Truely an incredible story of science fact!
The fact that our own government kept us from launching the first satellite before the USSR. Our own government forced Von Braun's Jupiter C rocket to fly 1,300 lbs. of sand as a second stage to keep his rocket from going into orbit. All because the elected officials wanted there pet Navy Vanguard program to be the first to orbit.