'Bizony’s excellent corrective to NASA’s mythologised history takes an unflinching look… A firebrand of a book' – Publishers Weekly
The Man Who Ran the Moon
James E. Webb, NASA and the Secret History of Project Apollo
The gripping story of how one man steered NASA through a morass of politics, special interests, profiteering, untested systems, budget restrictions and volatile personalities.
In spring 1961, James E Webb, a North Carolina farm boy turned Washington insider, took charge of the grandest exploration project ever known: America’s bid for the Moon. He persuaded John F. Kennedy to support him and gained control of five per cent of the US federal budget. Webb’s NASA controlled half-a-million workers across America as they built new machines, launch pads and control centres.
But when a spacecraft caught fire in 1967, killing three astronauts, the press exposed a series of failures and the profiteering of Webb’s business partners. To protect NASA’s future, Webb took the heat for the corruption and deaths and enabled his colleagues to land on the Moon by the end of the decade. America had won the Space Race – but the name of the man who made it possible was wiped from history.
The Man Who Ran the Moon reveals the secret history of Project Apollo and the true cost of Americas victory in space.