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John Glenn: A Memoir by John H. Glenn

John Glenn: A Memoir (1999)

by John H. Glenn

Other authors: Nick Taylor

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
443536,214 (3.89)12
  1. 00
    Light This Candle: The Life & Times of Alan Shepard--America's First Spaceman by Neal Thompson (ABVR)
    ABVR: Glenn and fellow astronaut Alan Shepard were quasi-rivals within Project Mercury, and yet had similar career trajectories: retiring from flight status after one early-sixties mission, only to return years later for one more flight.
  2. 00
    Letters to John Glenn by Various Authors (ABVR)
    ABVR: Published shortly after Glenn's historic three-orbit flight in February 1962, this collection offers a fascinating glimpse of what the public thought about him.
  3. 00
    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (ABVR)
    ABVR: Wolfe's history of the Project Mercury astronauts presents Glenn as the one who first recognized, and most effectively adapted to, NASA's (and the American public's) need to see the astronauts as idealized Americans.

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What ages would I recommend it too? – Twelve and up.

Length? – Three day’s read.

Characters? – Memorable, several characters.

Setting? – Real World, and space, 1930's to 1990's.

Written approximately? – 1999.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Ready to read more.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? No.

Short storyline: The life of John Glenn, the astronaut from childhood through the military and on into space. A circuitous route back to family, home, and friends.

Notes for the reader: You will laugh, cry, and enjoy this book. Reading it is like sitting by the fireside, listening to stories of times long ago, and not so long ago. Every story resonates today, even more so, with the lack of jobs and job security these days. ( )
  AprilBrown | Feb 25, 2015 |
4808. John Glenn A Memoir, by John Glenn with Nick Taylor (read 24 Mar 2011) I have never paid overly much attention to space but I found this book of great interest. I undertook to read it because Glenn was a Senator from 1974 to 1999 and I nearly always read Senator biographies when I get a chance, but his account of his first space trip on Feb 20, 1962 (when he orbited the earth three timse--the first person to ever orbit the earth three times-- I found of highest excitement. I also liked his account of growing up in Ohio and found his account of his war experience in World War Two and In the Korean War of high interest. His account of his 1998 space trip, when he orbited the earth 134 times was also amazing reading. This book proved to be much better than I expected, and I have decided I will have to read The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe--a book I have often thought about reading. I also highly approved of Glenn's attitude to his family life and to his disapproval of men who can't keep their zipper zipped up when they should. ( )
  Schmerguls | Mar 24, 2011 |
A fascinating look into the life of the first astronaut to orbit the earth, his involvement with Project Mercury, and as a public servant as a senator from Ohio. Plus, we get an update of the world oldest astronaut going back into space: at the age of 77. ( )
  jphillips3334 | Mar 18, 2010 |
Excellent biography about a national hero who presents himself as just an ordinary man. Very motivating. ( )
1 vote adriel | Jul 10, 2007 |
must have been tiresome to be around! ( )
  NAFR | Jun 19, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Glenn, John H.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, Nicksecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Annie, always and forever "the wind beneath my wings." and for Zachary and Daniel, for whom it all began.
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Patriotism filled the air of New Concord, the small eastern Ohio town where I grew up.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553110748, Hardcover)

At a time when overwritten biographies arguably provide too much information about their subjects, astronaut-turned-politician-turned-astronaut John Glenn's breezy memoir is welcome. His life story is simply told, not terribly reflective but enormously compelling: an Ohio boy grows up to become the first American to orbit the earth, takes a shot at the presidency but misses, and triumphantly returns to outer space as a senior citizen and national hero. Following a section on his youth, Glenn describes being a fighter pilot in the Second World War and Korea (where he lived in the same Quonset hut as baseball legend Ted Williams), as well as a test pilot. The highlight of the book is Project Mercury, the early NASA effort that hurled Glenn 150 miles above the planet in a tiny capsule--"flying from one day into the next and back again." In less than five hours, Glenn observed three sunsets and sunrises. He also conducted a few basic experiments, such as "squeezing some applesauce from a toothpaste-like tube into my mouth to see if weightlessness interfered with swallowing. It didn't."

Upon his return to earth, Glenn made a few abortive runs for the Senate. He was finally elected in 1974 as a Democrat and served for 24 years. In 1984, he sought his party's presidential nomination, and it looked like he was the one candidate potentially capable of beating President Reagan. But he stumbled and had to quit. The final pages detail Glenn's 1998 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery at the age of 77. Just as his journeys riveted the nation, Glenn's memoir will grip its readers. --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

He was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. Nearly four decades later, as the world's oldest astronaut, his courage riveted a nation. But these two historic events only bracket a life that covers the sweep of an extraordinary century. In this engrossing book, John Glenn tells the story of his unique life--one lived at the center of a momentous time in history by a man who helped shape that history. He is the kind of hero who resists being called a hero. And yet his exploits in the service of his country, his dedication to family and friends, and his rock-ribbed traditional values have made this small-town boy from the Midwest a true American icon. John Glenn's autobiography spans the seminal events of the twentieth century. It is a story that begins with his childhood in New Concord, Ohio, in the aftermath of World War I. It was there that he learned the importance of family, community, and patriotism. Glenn saw firsthand the ravages of the Depression and learned that determination, hard work, and teamwork could overcome any adversity. These were the values he carried with him as a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and into the skies over Korea, for which he would be decorated for his courage, dedication, and sacrifice. Glenn flew missions with men he would never forget, from baseball great Ted Williams to little-known heroes who would never return to their families. Always a gifted flier, it was during the war that he contemplated the unlimited possibilities of aviation and its next frontiers: speed and space. John Glenn takes us into the cockpits of the experimental planes and spacecraft he flew to experience the pulse-pounding excitement of the early days of jet aviation, including his record-setting transcontinental flight in an F8U Crusader in 1957, and then on to his selection for the Project Mercury program in 1959. We see the early days of NASA, where he first served as a backup pilot for astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom and helped refine some of the initial cockpit and control designs for the Apollo program. In 1962 Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas6 Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Then came several years in international business, followed by a twenty-four-year career as a U.S. senator--and in 1998 a return to space for his remarkableDiscovery mission at the age of seventy-seven. This extraordinary book captures the unique alchemy that brings a man to the forefront of his time. Married to a woman he first met when they were both toddlers, known for his integrity, common sense, and leadership in the Senate, John Glenn tells a story that we must hear. For this narrative of steadfastness, devotion, courage, and honor is both a great adventure tale and a source of powerful inspiration for an age that needs John Glenn's values more than ever before.… (more)

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