San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
“How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure”
Written and illustrated by John Rocco Crown; 256 pages; $29.99; ages 10-up
Neil Armstrong’s dramatic first step onto the lunar surface garners only brief mention in this comprehensive, meticulously researched and riveting history of the Apollo program. That’s because its expansive reach highlights the 400,000 people who worked tirelessly together for nearly a decade to meet a myriad of technical problems with innovative solutions. Covered: rocketry, the spacecrafts, astronauts and ground support. Not overlooked is the heated rivalry between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. known as the “space race.” Nor is the tenor of the times — how at NASA, racism and sexism persisted amid incremental change. On beautiful and purposefully designed pages, clarifying art helps reduce a massive subject into the building blocks of science and math. The Apollo program has generated many books. Do we really need another one? A resounding “yes” for this exemplary nonfiction feat.