VERTURE TO SPACE by Martin Caidin


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There are a frightening number of tremendously significant problems today which never receive the attention they require, simply because they have never been presented fully and directly--by one or two solid, readable books--to the public at large which, ultimately under our ideal of government, must decide how much of what should be done about them. Mr. Caidin's book is a notable example of such a work. Beginning as far back as the 18th century, he carefully and clearly describes what had to be done and learned before we were able to send men safely into outer space. He then goes into the whys--all that we can hope to accomplish as a result of our rocket projects, past, present, and future. Then he turns to the hows -- the administrative ends of it, the conflicts which have arisen between military and scientific objectives, the myopia which reigned in Washington until Russia pulled ahead of us, and which still reigns to a very dangerous extent. He points out the reasons why Russia's lead is steadily growing, and destroys the many face-saving statements which have been offered as excuses. ""The speed and accuracy of making decisions,"" he says, ""is much more important than the speed and accuracy of all the rockets we will ever fire into space."" Either we obtain that speed and accuracy somehow, very soon, or we have lost not only the moon, but the world as well. A more urgent presentation than The New Wilderness by Willard Wilks, (p. 388, 1963).

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce