Red Moon Rising

Red Moon Rising

Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age

Book - 2007
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For the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik, the behind-the-scenes story of the fierce battles on earth that launched the superpowers into space   The spy planes were driving Nikita Khrushchev mad. Whenever America wanted to peer inside the Soviet Union, it launched a U-2, which flew too high to be shot down. But Sergei Korolev, Russia's chief rocket designer, had a riposte: an artificial satellite that would orbit the earth and cross American skies at will. On October 4, 1957, the launch of Korolev's satellite, Sputnik, stunned the world.
In Red Moon Rising , Matthew Brzezinski takes us inside the Kremlin, the White House, secret military facilities, and the halls of Congress to bring to life the Russians and Americans who feared and distrusted their compatriots as much as their superpower rivals. Drawing on original interviews and new documentary sources from both sides of the Cold War divide, he shows how Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower were buffeted by crises of their own creation, leaving the door open to ambitious politicians and scientists to squabble over the heavens and the earth. It is a story rich in the paranoia of the time, with combatants that included two future presidents, survivors of the gulag, corporate chieftains, rehabilitated Nazis, and a general who won the day by refusing to follow orders.
Sputnik set in motion events that led not only to the moon landing but also to cell phones, federally guaranteed student loans, and the wireless Internet. Red Moon Rising recounts the true story of the birth of the space age in dramatic detail, bringing it to life as never before.
Publisher: New York : Times Books, 2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780805081473
080508147X
Branch Call Number: 629.4109045
Characteristics: 322 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.

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dixiedog
Dec 31, 2016

Matthew Brzezinski’s ‘Red Moon Rising’ is a must read for any 20th Century history buff. It takes the reader from the last few days of World War II as Germany collapsed to a period just after the space race began with the launch of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957 and shortly thereafter Sputnik II. American Armed Forces and the Soviet Forces rushed to obtain: documentation, drawings, equipment parts, assembled scientific systems and weapons of destruction, as well as Germany’s elite scientists and technicians, those who had developed Germany’s vast and advanced war machine.
Every other chapter the story goes back and forth to inform the reader about what weapons and technology were being developed in America and then in the Soviet Union in the first half of the Cold War. It describes the ongoing struggle between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev; the genius of Sergei Korolev, the Chief Designer of the Soviet missile program, and the cunning and ambitious nature of Senator and future President Lyndon B. Johnson.

About two months after America was so wholly embarrassed with the failure of the US navy’s Vanguard missile launch on December 6, 1957, the tenacious Major General John Bruce Medaris gave hope to his nation with America’s answer to Sputnik. Explorer was launched January 31, 1958 by the USA about four months after Sputnik circled the earth and woke up the sleeping giant.

I found the Epilogue particularly informative. It was such a surprise to read that Khrushchev’s son Sergei, who had fulfilled his father’s dream when he became an engineer and earned his doctorate, became a rocket scientist, and eventually moved to America, and became a fellow at Brown’s University. This book is highly recommended by Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.

j
jodfong
Dec 06, 2016

Another title for the book could be "Missiles of the Cold War". Good read on the minds that started the space race and a great look into the thought process and actions of some of the era's most important, yet somewhat secret, Cold War contributors.

a
andremar
Sep 29, 2011

This book is great!

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