D.A. Ball
June 24, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If the wars, plagues, and hopeless battles of the closing 20th century’s gloom have you feeling like we’re a race of losers, grab Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon, strap yourself into your favorite chair, and live through this up-close account of the incredible things we’re still capable of accomplishing. Moon Shot takes you every breathtaking step of the way: from the work of the scientists of the defeated Third Reich, led by Wernher von Braun (who had mourned, when his brilliance had been perverted by Hitler’s V-2s bombing London, that ”the rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet”), through Sputnik, which made America realize it was way behind the Soviets in the space race, to Neil Armstrong’s triumphant landing on the moon in 1969. Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton witnessed every perilous leap, and Jay Barbree and Howard Benedict help them tell it so well that you’ll be proud and amazed to belong to the species that did it. A

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