For the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik, the behind-the-scenes story of the fierce battles on Earth that launched the superpowers into space. The spy planes were driving Nikita Khrushchev mad. Whenever America wanted to peer inside the Soviet Union, it launched a U-2, which flew too high to be shot down. But Sergei Korolev, Russia's chief rocket designer, had a solution. On October 4, 1957, the launch of Korolev's satellite, Sputnik, stunned the world. In “Red Moon Rising,” Matthew Brzezinski
draws on original interviews and new documentary sources from both sides of the Cold War divide. He shows how Khrushchev and U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower were buffeted by crises of their own creation, leaving the door open to ambitious politicians to squabble over the heavens and the earth. The true story of the birth of the space age has never been told in such dramatic detail, and“ Red Moon Rising” brings it vividly and memorably to life.
The first book to capture both the Soviet and American sides of the event that started the space race and changed our world.
On October 4, 1957, a time of Cold War paranoia, the Soviet Union secretly launched the Earth's first artificial moon. No bigger than a basketball, the tiny satellite was powered by a car battery. Yet, for all its simplicity, Sputnik stunned the world.
Based on extensive research in the US and newly opened archives in the former USSR, “Red Moon Rising” tells the story of five extraordinary months in the history of technology and the rivalry between two superpowers. It takes us inside the Kremlin and introduces the Soviet engineer Korolev, the charismatic, politically-minded visionary who motivated Khruschev to support what others dismissed as a ridiculous program. Korolev is virtually unknown to most Americans, yet it is because of him that NASA exists, that college loan programs were started in the US, and that Kennedy and Johnson became presidents.
Character driven, suspenseful, and dramatic, “Red Moon Rising” unveils the politics, people, science, and mindset behind a critical and transformative world event.
MATTHEW BRZEZINSKI is a contributing writer for “The New York Times Magazine” and former foreign correspondent at “The Wall Street Journal.” He is also the author of “Casino Moscow: A Tale of Greed and Adventure on Capitalism's Wildest Frontier”. He lives in Washington, D.C.