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Home » Books » Arts & Photography » Performing Arts » Film & Video » History & Criticism

Live from the Moon

Film, Television and the Space Race

By Michael Allen

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Format: Hardback, 240 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 30 July 2009
"We choose to go to the Moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard." President John F. Kennedy's words spoke of an American enterprise that rivalled, and echoed, that of the discovery and settling of his own country a century before. At the height of the Cold War between America and Russia, hundreds of spacecraft, both manned and robotic, travelled into outer space - the New Frontier. They sent back awe-inspiring images and sounds from Earth orbit, the Moon, and the planets of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus; they also overturned our preconceptions about our own planet. "Live from the Moon" is the exploratory story of this remarkable cultural and political phenomenon. Expert and enthusiast Mike Allen examines these images sent back from space, their use as propaganda, their value as drama and entertainment, and their spiritual role in shaping humanity's changing view of itself across the second half of the twentieth century. He looks at the complex relationship between space exploration, film and television during these decades to show the synergy between them in pushing forward the frontiers not only of our knowledge of the Universe, but of our need to visualise the furthest reaches of our imaginations in order to fully know what it is to be human.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Imagining Spaceflight 2. NASA-wood U.S.A. 3. All Around the World: the Development of Earth-orbiting Satellites 4. To Robotically Go Where No Man Had Gone Before: Interplanetary Satellites and Probes 5. Heroes and Ideologies: Mercury and Vostok 6. Upping the Orbital Ante: Gemini and Voskhod 7. "In the Lovely Apollo Room, High Atop Everything": Apollos 7-10 8. One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Propaganda: Apollo 11 9. Failure Was Not an Option...But Almost a Reality: Apollos 12-14 10. Celestial Geologists: Serious Science and Public Complacency - the Final Apollo missions Coda: Hands Across the Globe - The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Endnote: Some of Our Apollo 11 Footage in Missing?

About the Author

Michael Allen is Lecturer in Film and Electronic Media, Birkbeck College, University of London. His books include 'Family Secrets', a study of D.W. Griffith's feature films and 'Contemporary U.S. Cinema'. He is Editor of 'Reading "CSI" (I.B.Tauris 2007). He has been a space enthusiast since he was ten years' old.

Reviews

"This delightful, easy-to-read, detailed chronology of manned American and Soviet missions starts with the development of space photography. It proceeds to describe the politics, the contrasting openness and secrecy, the one-upmanship, the dedication/enthusiasm of the astronauts, and the US-USSR rivalries... [R]eaders will appreciate the challenges resulting from the deadline to land on the moon by the end of the 1960s and how they were met. Space enthusiast Allen provides fascinating descriptions of the waxing and waning interest of both the major news networks and the public when firsts were made, failures occurred, challenges were faced, and problems needed resolution. Summing Up: Highly recommended." --"CHOICE" ""This delightful, easy-to-read, detailed chronology of manned American and Soviet missions starts with the development of space photography. It proceeds to describe the politics, the contrasting openness and secrecy, the one-upmanship, the dedication/enthusiasm of the astronauts, and the US-USSR rivalries... [R]eaders will appreciate the challenges resulting from the deadline to land on the moon by the end of the 1960s and how they were met. Space enthusiast Allen provides fascinating descriptions of the waxing and waning interest of both the major news networks and the public when firsts were made, failures occurred, challenges were faced, and problems needed resolution. Summing Up: Highly recommended."" --CHOICE ""This delightful, easy-to-read, detailed chronology of manned American and Soviet missions starts with the development of space photography. It proceeds to describe the politics, the contrasting openness and secrecy, the one-upmanship, the dedication/enthusiasm of the astronauts, and the US-USSR rivalries... [R]eaders will appreciate the challenges resulting from the deadline to land on the moon by the end of the 1960s and how they were met. Space enthusiast Allen provides fascinating descriptions of the waxing and waning interest of both the major news networks and the public when firsts were made, failures occurred, challenges were faced, and problems needed resolution. Summing Up: Highly recommended."" --CHOICE

EAN: 9781845111694
ISBN: 1845111699
Publisher: I B Tauris & Co Ltd
Dimensions: 21.59 x 13.97 x 2.54 centimetres (0.45 kg)
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