First Man The Life of Neil A Armstrong Summary Ý 104

James R. Hansen ↠ 4 Summary

First Man The Life of Neil A Armstrong Summary Ý 104 · ❰Epub❯ ❤ First Man The Life of Neil A Armstrong Author James R. Hansen – On July 20 1969 the world stood still to watch thirty eight year old American astronaut Neil A Armstrong become the first person to step on the surface of anMent In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man as an astronaut and an individu. A very in depth bio of Neil from childhood to old age

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On Julythe world stood still The Life Epub #224 to watch thirty eight year old American astronaut Neil A Armstrong become the first person to s. What gall we must have to ask a child what he would be when he grows up Here he is tearing along in the delirious hallucination of childhood and we would already have him fill out the box sign on the line put the cube in the suare hole; we would confront him with this terrible hunt for purpose and significance in the material have him genuflect before the idol of maturity in activity the seuestration of occupation in industryBut when I was a kid that uestion of the many on old folks' checklist of generic uestions for grade schoolers rarely bothered me I always just answered that I would be a writerteacherastronautarchitecttreasure huntertree house builderrich person and that seemed to satisfy the elderly without putting too many constraints on meNo the uestion that bothered me was always and who are your heros kiddo Old folks' uestions to youngsters are always sandwiched between a conjunction and a diminutive epithet Because I didn't have any heroes The most popular answers amongst my generation were undoubtedly Michael Jordan and My Dad But I sure didn't give a shit about this Jordan fellow and My Dad always seemed forced Because really whose Dad at Oak Hill Elementary was really that cool You only said your Dad so word would eventually get back to him and he'd buy you a new pack of Marvel Comics cards or a Slurpee or whateverBut then Then I found out about space And I found out that we had been to the moon And so of course there had to be a first guy to step on the moon right There was His name was Neil A ArmstrongAnd that was that Neil Armstrong was my hero Oh my god was he My one and only He was he is Nothing could possibly be awesome than being the first person to step on an extraterrestrial body NothingAnd that carried on for many years Until about a month ago when I saw this book the first authorized biography of Neil Armstrong It turns out that the man has been perceived as something of a recluse by the media since roughly the end of Apollo 11 ceremonies and that him allowing interviews and a biography is actually pretty astounding But I would have never known that Because really I didn't know the first thing about Neil Armstrong the manBut that's the way it goes isn't it Our heroes are not elected for who they are but for what they've done Put another way my hero has never been Neil Armstrong it has been the first man on the moon Ironically no one understood this better than Neil I think that people should be recognized for their achievements and the value that adds to society's progress But it can easily be overdone I think highly of many people and their accomplishments but I don't believe that that should be paramount over the actual achievements themselves Celebrity shouldn't supersede the things they've accomplished What Neil doesn't seem to understand is human nature itself For we need that idol We need something flesh and blood to make us believe that our flesh too can be greater than mere flesh; that our blood too can flow through the annals of history and be remembered not just as a name but as an act The blood of something done the blood of apotheosis And that has crossed my mind too that Neil Armstrong isn't human at all and that's why he can't possibly understand Norman Mailer who could not bear the astronaut's placidity his composure would have it that way This much is true that Neil Armstrong is easily the most inscrutable of all historical personages He's either totally without emotion or understands his place in Valhalla so thoroughly as to deny us their makeup This is a man who would have rather been on a later Apollo flight one in which elaborate engineering could have been tried but knew he would submit to being the first man if he was called by duty This is a man that never asked for the moon never wished for it never craved it as I crave to be in his place Would you ever he was asked nights or most nights just go out uietly and look at the Moon Ponder your destiny your calling I mean did it become something like my goodness No answered Neil No I never did that He's either the perfect hero or the worst hero ever But it doesn't matter does it He was the first man on the moon And so he's my hero

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First Man The Life of Neil A ArmstrongTep on the surface of another heavenly body Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic mo. James R Hansen's 'First Man' throws down the gauntlet striving to be the definitive biography on Neil Armstrong the first man ever to walk on the moonIt is impressively researched but Hansen spends much of the book showing off what he learned As a result we have to wade through lots of minutiae Much of the extraneous data should have been dumped into the appendices instead To me it was as dry as a college textbookIt's a book that's about Armstrong's career than his personal life but that's really no fault of the author Armstrong showed Hansen exactly what he needed to know and nothing else Ultimately we don't learn anything new about him; just of what we already knew he's smart loves flying; he's aloof and hard to get to knowHansen spends far too much time debunking old myths about Armstrong even very minor ones that really don't deserve this kind of forum Many of these were better left in appendices or otherwise pushed to the marginsI was very disappointed in Hansen's treatment of Armstrong's Apollo 11 crewmate Buzz Aldrin who is portrayed as severely jealous of Armstrong's assignment as the first moonwalker Hansen then accuses Aldrin of deliberately leaving Armstrong out of photos taken on the lunar surface Hansen even claims Aldrin became an alcoholic because he couldn't get over not being first to step on the moon It's been at least eight years since I read this book and I am still surprised Hansen stooped so low I don't think Armstrong himself would have muddied his hands with such gossipOverall the book is good but not great The research is outstanding The analysis is only average The editorial choices were lacking I think the book could have been stronger with one or two additional edits and refinements This could have been a Pulitzer winner in the hands of someone like A Scott Berg but ultimately it's just above average The book may be a giant leap in some ways but it's only a small step in others