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Dickson (The Electronic Battlefield) chronicles in detail the Soviet satellite Sputnik. The Soviet Union was propelled into international prominence on October 4, 1957, by becoming the first nation to successfully launch a satellite, beating the American program by several months. The Soviet spacecraft panicked Americans, who constantly looked up into the sky, spoke in hushed tones and feared that the satellite presaged an atomic attack. President Eisenhower remained calm and tried to lead the country through the media-generated crisis, but the Sputnik "debacle" helped the Democrats in the next election. Dickson chronicles the history of rocket research, including Nazi successes during WWII. American and Soviet troops vied to seize German scientists and hardware. Dickson examines the feuding between the services for control of the space program and candidly exposes the reasons for the lag in American research. Eisenhower gets high marks for his quiet mastery of the situation, pleased that the Soviets were first into space, since that set off a race to improve American education, even as it fueled an outbreak of UFO hysteria. Dickson, whose bibliography runs to 19 pages, completely understands the lure and lore of Sputnik and has done a solid job of synthesizing prior books on the subject.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Space exploration is often portrayed as a U.S.-U.S.S.R. race, with the Soviet Union winning the initial lap by launching Sputnik, the earth's first artificial satellite. Yet as Dickson (The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary) reveals, for the United States, the race was also an internal competition, with the military (particularly Wernher von Braun's rocket team) and the Eisenhower administration grappling for control of the national space program. Eisenhower, who sought to demilitarize space and thereby open the skies to U.S. espionage satellites, eventually triumphed, establishing NASA as a civilian agency and successfully testing a clandestine satellite launch. Focusing on internal rivalries and including pre-Sputnik material, Dickson's book complements Robert A. Divine's The Sputnik Challenge (LJ 3/1/93), which considers the aftermath of Sputnik; James Killian's personal Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower: A Memoir of the First Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (LJ 1/15/78. o.p.); and the scholarly Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years Since the Soviet Satellite (Harwood Academic, 2000; also issued as NASA Technical Memorandum 113448). For public and academic libraries. Nancy R. Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
If you want an understanding of how the United States endede up as the 800-pound gorilla for the rest of the world, you should begin with Paul Dickson's meticulously researched and... Read morePublished on April 22 2003 by James L. Srodes
If you're looking for a careful analysis of the development of Sputnik and its implications for Russian space science, skip this book. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2002
The author has spent many years searching for any reference no matter how small involving Sputnik. He links words like beatnik, vietnik, and refusenik to the influence of Sputnik. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2002 by Susan Gerbic
This isn't really a book about Sputnik at all. Initially it's a history of rocketry and then it turns into a book about and American science and culture in the 50s and onwards. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2002 by sigfpe
I was 11 years old when Sputnik beeped across the sky and I stood with my father in our back yard, night after night, staring at the stars. It was a time full of wonder. Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2001 by Bonnie West
Overall, Mr. Dickson has written a very readable book for a subject that could have very easily gotten lost in technologic trivial and minutia. Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2001
On 4 October 1957, the world woke up in the space age. The first artificial satellite (people were originally calling it an artificial moon) had been successfully launched by the... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2001 by Rob Hardy
Paul Dickson's "Sputnik" should definitely be read by President Bush, his advisers and staff. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2001 by Robert Skole