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Light This Candle: The Life & Times of Alan Shepard--America's First…

by Neal Thompson

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1271178,746 (3.92)5
lan Shepard was the brashest, cockiest, and most flamboyant of America’s original Mercury Seven, but he was also regarded as the best. Intense, colorful, and dramatic—the man who hit a golf ball on the moon—he was among the most private of America’s public figures and, until his death in 1998, he guarded the story of his life zealously. Light This Candle, based on Neal Thompson’s exclusive access to private papers and interviews with Shepard’s family and closest friends—including John Glenn, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper—offers a riveting, action-packed account of Shepard’s life. Among the first men to fly off aircraft carriers, he was one of the most fearless test pilots. He endured long separations from his devoted wife and three daughters to fly dangerous missions, working his way up the ranks despite clashes with authority over his brazen flying maneuvers and penchant for risky pranks. Hugely competitive, he beat out John Glenn for the first Mercury spaceflight and then overcame a rare illness to return to space again on Apollo 14. He took every challenge head-on and seemed to win every time. Long overdue,Light This Candleis a candid and inspiring account of a bold American life.… (more)
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    John Glenn: A Memoir by John H. Glenn (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.
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Of all the Mercury Seven astronauts, Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr always struck me as the most interesting. And not simply because he was the first American into space. Nor because he was the only Mercury astronaut to walk on the Moon. Shepard seemed to have the most interesting personality, switching unpredictably from the "Icy Commander" to the joker who loved mimicking Bill Dana's hapless Hispanic astronaut, José Jimenez.

Read the rest of the review here: http://spacebookspace.blogspot.com/2008/04/light-this-candle-neal-thompson.html ( )
  iansales | Oct 8, 2008 |
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lan Shepard was the brashest, cockiest, and most flamboyant of America’s original Mercury Seven, but he was also regarded as the best. Intense, colorful, and dramatic—the man who hit a golf ball on the moon—he was among the most private of America’s public figures and, until his death in 1998, he guarded the story of his life zealously. Light This Candle, based on Neal Thompson’s exclusive access to private papers and interviews with Shepard’s family and closest friends—including John Glenn, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper—offers a riveting, action-packed account of Shepard’s life. Among the first men to fly off aircraft carriers, he was one of the most fearless test pilots. He endured long separations from his devoted wife and three daughters to fly dangerous missions, working his way up the ranks despite clashes with authority over his brazen flying maneuvers and penchant for risky pranks. Hugely competitive, he beat out John Glenn for the first Mercury spaceflight and then overcame a rare illness to return to space again on Apollo 14. He took every challenge head-on and seemed to win every time. Long overdue,Light This Candleis a candid and inspiring account of a bold American life.

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