Into That Silent Sea
Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965
Francis French and Colin Burgess
Book published by University of Nebraska Press
It was a time of bold new technology, historic moments, and international jousting on the final frontier. But it was also a time of human drama, of moments less public but no less dramatic in the lives of those who made the golden age of space flight happen. These are the moments and the lives that Into That Silent Sea captures, a book that tells the intimate stories of the men and women, American and Russian, who made the space race their own and gave the era its compelling character.
These pages chronicle a varied and riveting cavalcade of human stories, including a look at Yuri Gagarin’s harrowing childhood in war-ravaged Russia and Alan Shepard’s firm purchase on the American dream. It also examines the controversial career of cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, and the remarkable struggle and ultimate disappointment of her American counterparts. It tries to uncover the truth behind the allegations that shadowed Gus Grissom and Scott Carpenter and then allows the reader to share the heart-stopping suspense of Alexei Leonov’s near-fatal first space walk. Through dozens of interviews and access to Russian and American official documents and family records, the authors bring to life the experiences that shaped the lives of the first astronauts and cosmonauts and forever changed their world and ours.
Francis French is the former director of events for Sally Ride Science, and the current director of education at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
“As well as vividly picturing the men, this book also accurately tells the story of the very first women to train for spaceflight in Russia—and women like me in America who hoped for the same opportunity to reach for the stars.”
—Wally Funk, rocket pilot for Interorbital Systems Corporation
“Unforgettable days and some unforgettable characters were brought vividly back to me by this truly wonderful book. They were fun times; they were also incredibly difficult, hard-working, and agonizing times, watching dear friends launch into space with my heart in my mouth. This book offers a treasure trove of memories.”
—Dee O’Hara, nurse to the astronauts
“French and Burgess’s history will engage the space-program audience.”
“Eminently readable, well-crafted.... The merits of this popular history rest in the elegant narrative and the authors’ thoughtful awareness of the space explorer genre.”
—Air & Space Smithsonian
““Into That Silent Sea dispenses with distracting technical jargon and nationalistic jingoism to deliver ten superbly composed, thoughtfully balanced chapters about the astronauts and cosmonauts who flew Mercury and Vostok/Voskhod missions.... Avid readers will revel in the authors’ masterful compilation of these straight-forward, detailed mini-biographies.”
—Air Power History
All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks