'Takes us breakneck speed through Gagarin’s strange trajectory... Without books like these to shelter it, history is eroded by propaganda and real heroes fall victim to spin' – New Scientist
The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin
Jamie Doran & Piers Bizony
On April 12 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and venture into space. An icon of the twentieth century, he also became a danger to himself and a threat to the Soviet state. At the age of 34, he was killed in a plane crash.
Based on KGB files, restricted documents from Russian space authorities, and interviews with his friends and colleagues, this biography of the Russian cosmonaut reveals a man in turmoil: torn apart by powerful political pressures, fighting a losing battle against alcoholism and rebelling against the cruelties of a corrupt totalitarian regime.
Published to mark the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s historic space flight, this new edition of Starman includes a new afterword that reflects on Gagarin’s legacy and celebrates the importance of his momentous expedition.
(Jamie Doran is an Irish/Scottish independent documentary filmmaker and former BBC producer. In conjunction with Piers Bizony, he directed and produced for BBC Television the 1998 biographical film about Gagarin, which was shown in more than 60 countries worldwide.)