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Publisher's Summary

The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier

The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program. Nearly a half century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons - most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen - are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel and send humans even further than NASA has gone. These entrepreneurs have founded some of the biggest brands in the world - Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, PayPal - and upended industry after industry. Now they are pursuing the biggest disruption of all: space.

Based on years of reporting and exclusive interviews with all four billionaires, this authoritative account is a dramatic tale of risk and high adventure, the birth of a new Space Age, fueled by some of the world's richest men as they struggle to end governments' monopoly on the cosmos. The Space Barons is also a story of rivalry - hard-charging startups warring with established contractors, and the personal clashes of the leaders of this new space movement, particularly Musk and Bezos, as they aim for the moon and Mars and beyond. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Christian Davenport (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A must-read. A compelling account of how today's self-made tycoons are driven to change our world and our relationship with outer space. This is distinctly an American story, nowhere but America could these Space Barons rise, thrive, and succeed. Follow their journey into the future." (Dr. Mark Albrecht, executive secretary of the National Space Council under President George H. W. Bush and author of Falling Back to Earth: A First Hand Account of the Great Space Race and the End of the Cold War)

"Readers will thrill at this lucid, detailed, and admiring account of wealthy space buffs who are spending their own money, making headlines, producing genuine technical advances, and resurrecting the yearning to explore the cosmos." (Kirkus)

"Starting with a blank canvas, Christian Davenport has painted a comprehensive portrait of some of the most influential leaders in commercial space, and indeed of the industry itself. Well-researched and entertaining, The Space Barons gives both a rich texture to the beginnings and a tantalizing outline of the future of commercial human space travel." (Michael Lopez-Alegria, former NASA astronaut, past president of the Commercial Space Flight Federation, and principal, MLA Space, LLC)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Greg
  • Yorba Linda, CA, United States
  • 04-06-18

An Incredible Modern Story Well Told

The book we've all been waiting for. I've been deeply engaged in this industry since the start of the incredible story that Davenport tells and I can say that this is the most comprehensive and professional treatment of the commercial spaceflight revolution to date. The author is a professional reporter and a fine wordsmith who understands his context and characters. He weaves a tale of adventure, excess and excitement on the final frontier that will keep even non-space cadets enthralled. This is a character based study and is not particularly distracted by the technologies or the data. You won't find the seconds of ISP rating on the latest SpaceX second stage engine configuration or the coefficient of drag on Virgin's VSS Unity. What Davenport does in nail the big personalities and unusual motivations that drive this generations boldest entrepreneurs to go where none have gone before.

The narration is also excellent. Collyer conveys the tension and enthusiasm of the story without distraction. He gets the names and technical pronunciations correct as well (a thing that always bugs me in tech books).

"Space Barrons" is a great summer read for anyone but it is a must-listen for any aspiring Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson or Elon Musk. I hope they all download it and are motivated to do impossibly great things someday, themselves.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good broad overview

it's a good broad overview of the 3 space barons the book discusses and the uprising commercial space industry.

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 09-20-18

Exciting. Humans cooperating & competing to space

I had read a biography of Elon Musk, and found it gave me hope for the future of humanity. But the other personalities and companies developing space vehicles were not known to me. Especially Blue Origin. Richard Branson, of course, had been in the news, but the history of the the company he was affiliated with was sparse. And, living in an area with aerospace companies, this book seemed to be a good way to get up-to-speed.

What an enjoyable read of the American efforts to reach space. The narration was excellent, the story well told.

This book would likely be enjoyed by many people who work for any of the companies involved in building aircraft of any kind. Many companies are mentioned, if only to show how the competition worked against or with each other. But, overall, the book did not give me a negative feeling. When it ended, I felt pride in how America is a country of innovators, explorers, inventors, and even scientific wizards.

We live in an exciting and historic time.

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Boring Book on Exciting Topic

This book was 2-3 times longer than it needed to be, which means too much filler and an overall boring experience. Bummer.

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Like a lengthy news article. Interesting subject.

Like a lengthy news article. Interesting subject but I would have liked more to it.

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Intriguing

What an intriguing competition between billionaires. Can’t wait to see how the real world story progresses in the years to come.

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Great story about Bezos, Musk, Branson and their struggles and success!

This book it’s a wonderful story that illustrates beautifully that the current age we are living in is truly the new space age. At some point while listening to it I had goosebumps, when realizing that this is truly all based on facts and it’s happening right now as we speak! Space X and Blue Origin are in the news more and more often these days. So is Virgin Galactic every once in a while. This is happening right now! Wow.

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Great book

Learned new information about all three companies and their beginnings. Definitely worth listening to if you want a deeper look into each space company.

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Pointless if you follow the topic

There's nothing new or revolutionary in this book that isn't covered well in the news. Felt like a waste of time, but I was sitting in traffic listening so I guess I broke even.

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Every space buff must read

Every space buff must read, Every space buff must read. should be required in high school

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  • Sunil Lalvani
  • 09-12-18

Outstanding and inspiring

A well written book about 2 outstanding characters of our time and their drive and vision to take humanity into space.
Well written and well narrated makes this an easy listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-17-18

great book, really interesting.

very interesting to learn how the rocket billionaires started out and come to start in rocketry overcoming all obstacles put in their way.

well read and kept me interested.

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  • MR N H O'BRIEN
  • 08-03-18

Excellent book

This book is interesting all the way through and a fascinating insight into the new space race.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-18

inspiring

well worth the read (or listen) , very good narration in audiobook.
truly inspiring story of man's quest to venture in space.

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  • R. Mathieson
  • 04-21-18

Incredible story

My first ever Audio book and I couldn’t stop listening. This is truly and adventure that everyone can feel part of, even if it led by billionaires. What has been achieved in such a period of time is amazing.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-23-18

Capturing the essence of modern space race

Lots of detailed content that many don't have access to. The whole tone of the book greatly captures the exciting space race of the modern times. The book itself skillfully jumps between the few space barons in their initial years and converge into one single narrative. Absolute gem!

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  • Jack mulligan
  • 04-09-18

good chronological article

a chronology of everything you can see on youtube. worth the read if you have nothing else to do

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-23-18

Looking out

Head down and plough through the line.
Good times ahead for the hard work. .

0 of 1 people found this review helpful