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Book Reviews

One Giant Leap: Apollo 11 Forty Years On
Author: Piers Bizony

Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-84513-422-8

Price: ?16.99 (Hb), 160pp

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It must be difficult to write a book about the Apollo 11 mission. I'm sure that there is a book that covers every minute detail and
I seem to have read quite a few of them, so when I received this book I was not convinced that I would find anything new.

In this book the author avoids a detailed history or
explanations of technology found readily elsewhere, and according to the dust jacket, attempts to persuade modern readers to think about Apollo in an entirely new way. I glanced
through this book at first and I was not impressed. Hasn't it all been said before?

But after sitting down to read a little more closely I found that the author does have something interesting to say about our perspective on the mission and its cultural, technological and political impact today. I especially enjoyed the author's views on whether today's technology has really improved that much or indeed at all, and some of the modern day comparisons made.

A real strength of this book is that it has sought to illustrate the lesser-known or unseen photographs of the Apollo 11 mission. Some of the photographs are blurry, incorrectly exposed or poorly composed and the author states that these have often been considered failures and have been set aside. Yet speaking as an amateur photographer myself, I have to agree that these pictures give us a new insight and we gain a vivid impression of what it was like to live and work inside the spacecraft. But I do wish that there were more of them.

Throughout there are recent quotations from Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin that adds to today's perspective and provides some useful insight into the men themselves. The author also examines the newly proposed Moon missions and the political notions of today, something that will certainly provide us with more to think about. Do not dismiss this book as I initially did. Take the time to read it as it does have something useful to say after all.

Robin Flegg

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