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Andrew Smith is English although he was born in New York and lived in California until he was in his early teens. He watched the moon landings on TV in his home near San Francisco. He has written for Melody Maker, the Face, the Sunday Times, and the Observer where he has written on the KLF, death row, Damien Hirst, Jeff Bezos, Bianca Jagger and much much more. He currently lives with his family in Norfolk.
Between 1969 and 1972, 12 men traveled a quarter-million miles to the moon and returned safely. In this powerful, intimate story, journalist Smith sets out to find these men and discover how that experience changed their lives. Smith, a boy living in a nondescript California subdivision at the time of the Apollo missions and caught up in the endless possibility of space flight, journeys to the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and the backwoods of Texas in search of these mythical figures of American know-how. He finds Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, still cool and confident, a plainspoken man who never let on how close that mission came to disaster. In Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon, he finds an imperious, driven, highly successful businessman. If all of the men share one affliction, it's fame. Once at the center of the world's attention, these mostly ordinary men with some extraordinary gifts and luck have lived their lives being asked the same question-What was it like "up there"? In an artful blend of memoir and popular history, Smith makes flesh-and-blood people out of icons and reveals the tenderness of his own heart. Agent, Emma Parry. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
'Smith's mix of reporting and meditation is highly entertaining, and this superb book is a fitting tribute to a unique band of twentieth-century heroes' GQ 'A moving and thorough account of America's last great act of optimism' Guardian 'Fascinating and disturbing. We know what happened inside the Apollo Space Craft, but what went on inside the astronauts' minds? Did any of them really recover from their strange journey? Extremely thought-provoking' J. G. Ballard 'Smith's mission - gloriously realised in this spellbinding book - is to seek out the last nine and discover how the decades have treated the only humans to have walked on another world ... a wonderful collective biography written with deftness, compassion and humour' Observer