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Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight by Jay…
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Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight

by Jay Barbree

Other authors: John H. Glenn (Foreword)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
To be honest, I didn't finish the book.

I was so excited to pick up this book and read about Neil Armstrong, a great man and hero to many. Written by a "close friend", I expected to get the know the man.

The writing style (language, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure) is not very good. This reads less like a biography and more like a tell all (with the author trying to convince us, or maybe even himself, that Neil was his BFF).
( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
To be honest, I didn't finish the book.

I was so excited to pick up this book and read about Neil Armstrong, a great man and hero to many. Written by a "close friend", I expected to get the know the man.

The writing style (language, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure) is not very good. This reads less like a biography and more like a tell all (with the author trying to convince us, or maybe even himself, that Neil was his BFF).
( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
To be honest, I didn't finish the book.

I was so excited to pick up this book and read about Neil Armstrong, a great man and hero to many. Written by a "close friend", I expected to get the know the man.

The writing style (language, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure) is not very good. This reads less like a biography and more like a tell all (with the author trying to convince us, or maybe even himself, that Neil was his BFF).
( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
My second book on the life of this remarkable American hero. Jay Barbree does a formidable job here of capturing the drama and incredible courage these pioneers of our space program put forth to accomplish which stands to this day as our most dynamic achievement, putting man on the moon. The book is focused on Armstrong but as it was such a team effort we are reintroduced to the many co-heroes who did their part in equal measure to accomplish the goal. Armstrong because of his unique personality and focus, certainly an understated hero, gets the spotlight but we learn once again he never thought it was about himself. He was in fact the right man at the right time.

The book covers basically the highlights of Armstrongs' career from Korean combat pilot, to test pilot, astronaut, and investigator of the later space shuttle tragedy. It is a remarkable journey to rediscover the amazing accomplishments of these men, the equipment, and support personnel. The ending winds down to a bit of lamenting on Barbree's part about how newer generations encountering Armstrong in passing were not even aware of who he was. But in line with Neil's character was it really of concern to him? Also attention is paid to our lapsing commitment to space exploration and simple technical progress. True we are far behind where we probably thought we would be in this era. But with the pressing problems her on earth it could only be expected, our financial resources do indeed have their limits. ( )
  knightlight777 | Jan 28, 2015 |
Interesting, because of the history that is of interest to me. Kind of bland, compared to other books (A Man on the Moon, The Right Stuff). ( )
  mrklingon | Jan 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jay Barbreeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Glenn, John H.Forewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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There was a time when Neil Armstrong was the most well-known person in the world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 125004071X, Hardcover)

Much has been written about Neil Armstrong, America’s modern hero and history’s most famous space traveler. Yet shy of fame and never one to steal the spotlight Armstrong was always reluctant to discuss his personal side of events. Here for the first time is the definitive story of Neil’s life of flight he shared for five decades with a trusted friend – Jay Barbree.


Working from 50 years of conversations he had with Neil, from notes, interviews, NASA spaceflight transcripts, and remembrances of those Armstrong trusted, Barbree writes about Neil’s three passions – flight, family, and friends. This is the inside story of Neil Armstrong from the time he flew combat missions in the Korean War and then flew a rocket plane called the X-15 to the edge of space,  to when he saved his Gemini 8 by flying the first emergency return from Earth orbit and then flew Apollo-Eleven to the moon’s Sea of Tranquility.


Together Neil and Jay discussed everything, from his love of flying, to the war years, and of course his time in space. The book is full of never-before-seen photos and personal details written down for the first time, including what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be.


As the only reporter to have covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings Jay knows these events intimately. Neil Armstrong himself said, “Barbree is history’s most experienced space journalist. He is exceptionally well qualified to recall and write the events and emotions of our time.”
Through his friendship with Neil and his dedicated research, Barbree bring us the most accurate account of his friend’s life, the book he and the famed astronaut planned together for 20 years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:28 -0400)

"To date, everything written about Armstong's life and flights has been written from the outside looking in; Barbree is the only person whom Neil Armstrong trusted to share close personal details about his inspiring life story. Working from his years of notes, and with the full cooperation of the Armstrong family, Barbree has written the definitive biography of America's most famous astronaut and one of our greatest modern heroes. Much has already been written about Armstrong and the major players who helped him fly to the moon, but he wanted this book to emphasize his two passions--family and flight. Barbree and Armstrong discussed everything, from his two marriages and the death of his baby daughter, to his love of flying, the war years and of course, his time in space. The book, timed to coincide with the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and full of never-before-seen photos, includes many personal details that have never before been written, such as what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be"--… (more)

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