First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong

James R. Hansen / Feb 23, 2020

First Man The Life of Neil A Armstrong On July the world stood still to watch thirty eight year old American astronaut Neil A Armstrong become the first person to step on the surface of another heavenly body Perhaps no words in h

  • Title: First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong
  • Author: James R. Hansen
  • ISBN: 9780743257510
  • Page: 482
  • Format: Paperback
  • On July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch thirty eight year old American astronaut Neil A Armstrong become the first person to step on the surface of another heavenly body Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacOn July 20, 1969, the world stood still to watch thirty eight year old American astronaut Neil A Armstrong become the first person to step on the surface of another heavenly body Perhaps no words in human history became better known than those few he uttered at that historic moment In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and an individual.

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      Published :2019-06-01T23:50:43+00:00

    About "James R. Hansen"

      • James R. Hansen

        James R Hansen is a professor of history at Auburn University in Alabama.His book From the Ground Up won the History Book Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1988 For his work, The Wind and Beyond NASA six volume series , he was awarded the Eugene Ferguson Prize for Outstanding Reference Work by the Society for the History of Technology in 2005.


    1. What gall we must have to ask a child what he would be when he grows up! Here he is, tearing along in the delirious hallucination of childhood and we would already have him fill out the box, sign on the line, put the cube in the square hole; we would confront him with this terrible hunt for purpose and significance in the material, have him genuflect before the idol of maturity in activity, the sequestration of occupation in industry!But when I was a kid that question -- of the many on old folks [...]

    2. Three hundred pages of story lost among four hundred pages of gossip and trivia. Tells Neil's story in excruciating detail, including multiple tellings of false tales--each of which is detailed then rebutted.Too bad because Neils' story is a good one, and the portions on what Neil was actually doing were good.Better than Sominex.

    3. It's difficult to believe there has ever been a more accomplished human being who was more modest than Neil Armstrong. On July 20, 1969, Neil A. Armstrong became the first human to step on the surface of a world beyond our Earth. He was 38 years old. Armstrong landed on the lunar surface as perhaps the premier aviator of his generation. He'd been flying for 22 years (having earned his pilot's license as a teenager before being old enough to apply for a driver's license). His aviation achievement [...]

    4. This has been an amazing audiobook experience, far better than anticipated. For one thing, the author's portrayal of Armstrong is hardly a hagiography, which was a relief. His many virtues were dutifully reported, but I was amazed at how critical the narrative was of certain highly personal episodes and Armstrong's reactions to them, such as the death of his daughter Karen. But what made the experience much more memorable for me was the seamless integration of actual recordings of the historic c [...]

    5. 25AUG12: A truly amazing man that has embarked on his final journey through history. Knowing that he was still alive cast a shining light on humanity's potential. Now that he's gone, it's up to humanity to recognize the hope that he has left behind.---As a three-year-old son of a typical nuclear family in 1969, I was awoken from my sleep, placed beside our TV, and photographed next to Neil Armstrong stepping on to the moon. Through all these years, Neil Armstrong remained a hero that was codifie [...]

    6. I would like to have given this book an extra 1/2 star if possible. At almost 600 pages, I wondered if I could get through the book and not consatntly falll asleep. I was pleasantly surprised. Neil Armstrong was as a very private person. The authorised biography of the man who in my oppion was the Charles Lindbergh of the sixties was not as private as he was just careful with words and who he chose to deal with. The most interesting thing about the book is that Neil himself will confirm, deny, o [...]

    7. Wow, it was long and pretty slow in places. The chapters on the moon landing were fascinating! I was 5 years old at the time, and while I distinctly remember someone showing me the moon and telling me men were there, I had little other knowledge of the event. There are lots of details on Armstrong's life before becoming an astronaut, and only a few spare chapters on his life after leaving NASA. Interesting read but not exactly an enjoyable one.

    8. Get the audio CD's, it has actual audio and video from the missions. This is beyond fantastic. A must listen to for anyone the least bit interested in the astronauts and/or the Apollo missions.

    9. The imaginatively named authorized biography of Neil Armstrong (not to be confused with the Albert Camus The First Manbook of the same name). I feel for the author; Armstrong is apparently legendarily taciturn, which makes for a lot of sentences like "Neil doesn't remember" or "Neil couldn't confirm that" This may sound annoying, but I found it kind of charming; Armstrong's quiet, reserved self-confidence seems very commendable to me (and familiar; Armstrong reminds me of a certain someone's old [...]

    10. James R. Hansen's 'First Man' throws down the gauntlet, striving to be the definitive biography on Neil Armstrong, the first man ever to walk on the moon.It is impressively researched, but Hansen spends much of the book showing off what he learned. As a result, we have to wade through lots of minutiae. Much of the extraneous data should have been dumped into the appendices instead. To me, it was as dry as a college textbook.It's a book that's more about Armstrong's career than his personal life, [...]

    11. As a child my parents did all they could to keep me awake to watch Neil Armstrong step on the moon. I remember it vividly. That memory compelled me to read the biography of Neil Armstrong. I found the book very well researched. Parts of the book were quite "technical". I learned more about types of airplanes than I would have thought I wanted. But I found it interesting. I hadn't considered all of the difficult decisions surrounding this endeavor. I had considered the technological challenges, t [...]

    12. In the interest of honesty, I should probably say that I would never have picked up First Man in a bookstore. If I hadn't been lucky enough to choose an undergrad honors seminar more or less at random and end up in Dr. Hansen's Astronaut as Icon class, I probably would never have thought about NASA for longer than a minute. And now my friends wish I would just shut up about Neil Armstrong already.Yes, this biography is long and intimidating, but it's also straight-up incredible. Very few authors [...]

    13. Една малка стъпка за човека…: knigolandiafo/book-review/p“Първият човек. Животът на Нийл Армстронг” на Джеймс Хенсън има една светла и една тъмна страна, точно както мислим за Луната (не че това е вярно). Светлата е подробното описание на програмата “Аполо”, на впрягането на една наци [...]

    14. An amazing book which if filled with technical detail as well as anecdotes about Neil Armstrong. Most of the excruciating detail could be better served as an appendix, but overall an interesting read, if you can get past the first 150 pages. The book explains some of Mr. Armstrong's "recluse behavior", which I for one never thought he practiced and admired him for not embracing fame, especially at this age of reality TV and other shameful displays of humanity. Several pages of this book are dedi [...]

    15. A rousing adventure of a read! It manages to bring the legend down to earth and yet, in that very process, it enhances his image.Thank you to Mr. Hansen for writing the book and thank you to Cmdr Armstrong for living the life he lived the way he lived it. Hat's off, Sir!

    16. Picked this one out of the Border's Bargin Bin for $6. Completely enjoyed it! Interesting in regards to learning more about Armstrong, but also for learning more about the space program in general. Strong recommendation!

    17. I have had this book on my shelf for a long time and finally got around to reading it. It was worth the wait. This was a fascinating biography of Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. Along the way of telling Armstrong's life story, this book also presented a very interesting history of the early US space program. I learned a lot from this book and was captivated by the stories of early space flights through the Gemini program and the eventual Apollo program that got to the moon [...]

    18. nhwvejournal/576098ml[return][return]This biography of Neil Armstrong is not quite in the top rank, but it is exhaustive and generally satisfying. Most particularly, I think the author manages to answer pretty completely how it came to be that this particular man was the first man to set foot on the moon. He describes at justifiable length several key moments from Armstrong's career as a combat pilot in the Korean War, as a test pilot of rocket planes, and as an astronaut when he managed to save [...]

    19. James Hansen did an outstanding job presenting the life of a man and his quest for the next step. Armstrong's life seemed to be just that, reaching for the next thing that seemed out of reach for those unwilling to give it the effort. Hanson presented so much great historical background on Armstrong's family and the life he lived leading up to the one event we all know, and his efforts to contribute to the world after that event. The Moon Walk was the middle for him, perhaps. Hanson's detail alo [...]

    20. This book calls itself "The Essential Biography" of Neil Armstrong, even though large parts of the book seem to be more a history of NACA and NASA that merely used Neil Armstrong as a focal point. Minute details of his professional resume and accomplishments are given, down to transcripts of specific technical conversations, less so about his personal life. As an example, the Apollo Program spans pages 301-563, while the life and tragic death of his middle child, Karen, gets a scant seven pages; [...]

    21. Very complete and detailed coverage of the entire life of Neil Armstrong, focusing on his career as a test pilot and astronaut. While some sections seem overly detailed, they are easy to navigate, and of course the reader can gloss over whatever does not interest. The detail is especially helpful in explaining the background of decisions made during the Apollo program. Highly recommended to anyone interested in learning, or reminiscing, about the Apollo program or what Neil Armstrong's life was [...]

    22. I'd like to give this at least 4 stars because I learned a lot and love the subject matter. However, I can't give it more than 3 1/2 stars because of the length and execution. There was way too much mundane detail that I didn't think added to giving a complete background of Neil Armstrong's life. That, plus the fact that I have heard of quite a few inaccuracies in the book forces me to give a middling rating.

    23. Great audiobook incorporating old audio recordings from the time including from NASA. Really adds a nice element to the book when they can incorporate sound clips like that.

    24. Perhaps this is the ultimate Astronaut book. If you are going to read about one of these fascinating men and women, surely it makes sense to read about Neil Armstrong - Commander of Apollo 11 and first man on the moon. To say this biography is detailed would fail to even hint at the level of research that must have gone into writing such a book. We hear pretty much all of Neil's life story in great detail, even down to the grades he obtained, the ratings he earned during pilot training and so on [...]

    25. Could've used a more aggressive editor. I didn't need to know precisely how many hours Armstrong flew in each and every model of airplane during his test pilot career. Also didn't need to know the names and tenures of his personal assistants after retiring from NASA. The 3-4 chapters on the moon shot itself and the immediate aftermath were worth the slog, though.

    26. He's uh not a very interesting guy, but luckily he did some pretty interesting things. One in particular. There's certainly a lot of detail in this book, and it must have been painstaking to research - a bit too much detail, all told; we learn the names of everyone he ever worked with (or met) - and their nicknames, the grades he got in each class at school, and even trace back his ancestry to the clans of Scotland. It might seem like a lot to take on, but it's really not that gruelling - even b [...]

    27. A lengthy, detailed book on the extraordinary life of Neil Armstrong that, whilst authorised, gives a critical look at the major events in his life not least that little jaunt to the moon in 1969.As a layman you may find some of the detail difficult to get to grips with but for those with a solid grip on aeronautics I'm sure it will be a dawdle.It paints a very good picture to suggest (without explicitly say so) that Armstrong's mix of qualifications and experience made him probably the ideal ch [...]

    28. One reason this was a very good book is the author seemed to have great access to documents, audio and video from the time, and family members, as well as NASA team members. His background material made the story seem pretty complete.Neil Armstrong was a very interesting, complex guy, who hated the limelight. America is poorer because we have few or none like him today. He and men like him made history, and moved forward the world's exploration of space. I believe his type was typical of the Uni [...]

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