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.

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