The Long Journey Home From The Moon
On Sale: June 23, 2009
Featuring: Buzz Aldrin
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Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human,
minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial
body other than the Earth. The event remains one of
mankindâ€™s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the
largest worldwide television audience in history. In the
years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric
perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of
Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of
space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle
reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was
walking upon, he uttered the words â€śmagnificent desolation.â€ť
And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to
begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed
unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it
was Aldrin who responded to Mission Controlâ€™s clearance to
take off with the quip, â€śRoger. Understand. Weâ€™re number one
on the runway.â€ť
The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous
persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this
true American heroâ€™s story. In Magnificent Desolation,
Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of
the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and
the ultimate insiderâ€™s view of life as one of the superstars
of Americaâ€™s space program, he also opens up with remarkable
candor about his more personal trialsâ€“and eventual
triumphsâ€“back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the
mission that fulfilled President Kennedyâ€™s challenge to
reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned
home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or
direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA
put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The
twin demons of depression and alcoholism emergedâ€“the first
of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the
second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed
him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career
came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars
for a living when he wasnâ€™t drunkenly wrecking them.
Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained
the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of
his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate
for the future of space explorationâ€“not only as a scientific
endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise.
These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm
that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to
travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a
searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as
a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for
Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly
human story of a genuine hero.
2 comments posted.
Re: Magnificent Desolation
Looks like an interesting read!
(Karen Cherubino 9:57am March 4, 2011)
would really love to read this.My great grandson is learning about this now.
(Kathy Weber 12:50pm March 5, 2011)
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