armstrong bio
November 11, 2010 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Is there a definitive biography of Neil Armstrong?

I've looked at buying a few books (just ordered moonfire) and I'm wondering which is the best in terms of insight and quality of writing...
posted by rog to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
On reflection, a decent account of the Apollo 11 mission would do just as well.
posted by rog at 5:05 PM on November 11, 2010


First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong is the official biography. I read it, and just like other official biographies, it's self-serving and non-critical. Spends time in some weird areas, like his beefs with people that want autographs and such. But I thought it was a good read, nonetheless.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:08 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


On reflection, a decent account of the Apollo 11 mission would do just as well.

A Man on the Moon is the gold standard for the entire Apollo program. This is the book the HBO mini-series "From the Earth to the Moon" was based on.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:09 PM on November 11, 2010


I've read first man. It gets a little dense at times with the Aero Engineering geek speak, but you can skim when you hit those spots. Overall I'd recommend it. I had no idea the astronauts were so involved in actually designing stuff back then.
posted by COD at 6:14 PM on November 11, 2010


Cool Papa Bell has it. James Hansen's biography of Armstrong is a fascinating read (although sometimes a bit too detailed) and Andrew Chaikin's "A Man on the Moon" really is the definitive book on the whole program.

If you're looking for another excellent account of Apollo 11, I loved Mike Collins's "Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journeys."
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:15 PM on November 11, 2010


Another vote for A Man on the Moon. Based on that and The Right Stuff, though, it seems like it might be hard to find a good bio of Neil Armstrong because he seems pretty boring. That's also the impression I get reading between the lines of the Amazon comments for the Armstrong bio.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:47 PM on November 11, 2010


Cool. I'll check those out. Thanks guys!
posted by rog at 2:51 AM on November 12, 2010


On reflection, a decent account of the Apollo 11 mission would do just as well.

Check out the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal, which contains transcripts from the mission, as well as photos and video.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:08 PM on September 28, 2011


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