The Su­per­sonic Life and Times of Gus Gris­som

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Ge­orge Leopold, Pur­due Uni­ver­sity Press Hard­cover $29.95 (416pp), 978-1-55753-745-4

Dur­ing the 1960s, the Cold War was fought on many fronts and fields of bat­tle—nu­clear weapon tech­nol­ogy, Cuba and other geopo­lit­i­cal hotspots, the Olympic Games, to name a few— but the race to space may have meant the most to Rus­sian and Amer­i­can egos, and as­tro­naut Gus Gris­som played a lead­ing role un­til his death by fire on a Cape Canaveral launch pad in 1967. An en­gi­neer and test pilot, Gris­som fully un­der­stood the risks and com­plex­ity of space flight, and his ex­per­tise as­sured his in­volve­ment in all facets of the Mer­cury and Gemini pro­grams, in­clud­ing the de­sign de­ci­sions that cost his life on Apollo 1. Through in­ter­views with dozens of Gris­som’s NASA co­work­ers, friends, and fam­ily, this highly rec­om­mended bi­og­ra­phy of­fers an as­tro­naut’s-eye view of early space­flight and Cold War in­trigue.

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