On October 4, 1957, as Leave It to Beaver premiered on American television, the Soviet Union launched the space age.
Sputnik, all of 184 pounds with only a radio transmitter inside its highly polished shell, became the first man-made object in space; while it immediately shocked the world, its long-term impact was even greater, for it profoundly changed the shape of the twentieth century.
In his upcoming book, Washington journalist Paul Dickson chronicles the dramatic events and developments leading up to and emanating from Sputnik's launch.
Supported by groundbreaking, original research and many recently declassified documents, Sputnik offers a fascinating profile of the early American and Soviet space programs and a strikingly revised picture of the politics and personalities behind the facade of America's fledgling efforts to get into space.
Although Sputnik was unmanned, its story is intensely human.
Sputnik owed its success to many people, from the earlier visionary, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, whose theories were ahead of their time, to the Soviet spokesmen strategically positioned around the world on the day the satellite was launched, who created one of the greatest public-relations events of all time.
Its chief designer, however—the brilliant Sergei Korolev—remained a Soviet state secret until after his death.
For more information about the title Sputnik: The Shock of the Century, read the full description at Amazon.com, or see the following related books:
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