[FPSPACE] The Definitive Soviet space history book

Steven Zaloga steve_zaloga@email.msn.com
Thu, 31 Aug 2000 16:29:25 -0400

Dwayne and everybody:
I most wholeheartedly agree. I've read the first several chapters and it is
superb. A major, major addition to our understanding of the former USSR.
Steve Z.
-----Original Message-----
From: Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>
Cc: fpspace@solar.rtd.utk.edu <fpspace@friends-partners.org>
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000 8:43 AM
Subject: [FPSPACE] The Definitive Soviet space history book

Fellow FP Spacer and all-around-nice guy Asif Siddiqi has a new book out
on the history of the Soviet space program and it is one damn impressive
piece of work.

First, I have to mention the dimensions.  This thing is huge.  It is
easily two inches thick (4 meters for those members of the audience using
the metric system) and it probably weighs three pounds (7.8 hectares for
our metric friends).  Seriously, everyone should get a copy simply to use
for personal defense.  Hold it up in front of you and you can deflect a
bullet aimed at your heart.  Throw it with sufficient velocity and you can
crush a man's skull.

Okay, okay I know...

The book is titled Challenge to Apollo and it covers the history of the
Soviet space program from 1945 until 1974.  The book is 1011 pages long.

(Yes, that is right.  Let me repeat it:  ONE THOUSAND AND ELEVEN PAGES.)

I admit to not having even started to read it.  However, everyone who has
read it who I have talked to (about half a dozen people) has said it is
outstanding.  Not just okay.  Not just good.  But outstanding.
It covers everything, from Korolev's time in the prison camp to the lunar
program to the Salyut space stations.  This is now the DEFINITIVE
English-language space history book.  As we say in Washington, our man
Asif now has some pretty impressive creds...

It is a NASA SP publication.  Hard cover with quite a few illustrations,
line drawings, and many many tables and appendices and all that kind of

So, if you are at all interested in the Soviet space program (and if you
aren't, what the heck are you doing in FPSpace?!), then you should
immediately get this book, quit your job, and spend the next three months
of your life reading it.

Go buy Challenge to Apollo.  You hear me?  Get it right now.


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