• Mercury Rising

  • John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War
  • By: Jeff Shesol
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Mercury Rising

By: Jeff Shesol
Narrated by: Jim Frangione
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Publisher's Summary

A riveting history of the epic orbital flight that put America back into the space race.

If the United States couldn’t catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War - a perilous time when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the United States to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival - and America was losing.

On February 20, 1962, when John Glenn blasted into orbit aboard Friendship 7, his mission was not only to circle the planet; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising recreates the tension and excitement of a flight that shifted the momentum of the space race and put the United States on the path to the moon. Drawing on new archival sources, personal interviews, and previously unpublished notes by Glenn himself, Mercury Rising reveals how the astronaut’s heroics lifted the nation’s hopes in what Kennedy called the "hour of maximum danger".

©2021 Jeff Shesol (P)2021 Recorded Books, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

How did the space program develop? Why was John. Glenn chosen as the first U.S. astronaut to take a long space flight? Was John Kennedy initially a supporter of sending a manned vehicle into space? This fascinating book explores these and other questions.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrific story, well told, with newly revealed facts

Who knew that John Glenn was, himself, inadvertently responsible for the attitude-hold problems of “Freedom 7’s” Autopilot? Nevertheless, he emerges from this book the hero that he was and will always be.

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fantastic book w excellent narration

As a person who wasn't alive for the space race, this was a captivating and fascinating lens into this time in the nation's history. Listened to the book on a long car ride, and didn't want to stop to interrupt the story. Excellent narration pairs well with the material

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Fresh telling of a piece of the American mythology

Familiar territory, but well told and with new details. More than just another telling of the old “Man goes to the moon” I very much appreciated the the details delving into what John Glenn may have been thinking on many occasions. Excellent research a
story-telling.

Importantly, I wanted to call out Jim Frangione’s narration. He is superb - especially for a book like this one. He comes across as knowledgeable, studied, confident and in control. I’d love to hear more of him!

Dave Thompson

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First Heros

Followed Glenn's flight as a young boy better understanding now of what took place then.