First of all, please note that I'm not a native English speaker. However, some 10% of the books I read are in English as I'm used to the English language for business reasons. Now back to the point.
The book starts with explaining the German military rocket program during the German 3rd Reich from the perspective of the group of engineers led by von Baun. This part of history is told in a thrilling way. Being a German, I noted that each German term and name used is spelled perfectly right which is not a piece of cake. This part of the book sometimes reminded me of a piece of scientific work - however, it was very entertaining at the same time (similar to the books from Guido Knopp).
After WW 2 the competition between the US and Russia is described from the viewpoint of the two men pushing the space projects, i.e. von Braun and Korolev. Again, the facts presented were much deeper than expected by me and I must say that the reading became thrilling in major parts although I knew most of the historical outcome. In a nutshell, a period between half a year and three years is written through the eyes of von Braun and Korolev in turns which gives the impression of a match in which one team can rush and then the other team has the chance to make a stronger rush. The final mission for landing on the moon is very short compared to the missions described before which surprised me. By giving very limited room for the final "rush" the book is not glorifying the NASA program.
Because of the excellent balance between history, entertainment and facts this book was one of my hghlights in the previous quarter ... and I read a lot!
The bibliography at the end of the book is impressive.
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Gives an excellent view over the space race, with many interesting details. Cadbury tells the story almost as a novel, with Sergei Korolev and Wernher Von Braun as leading figures. It evolves a lot around persons, so maybe the bigger socio-political lines are not so easily seen. However, it is written in a good style, easily read, exciting and humourous. Recommendable for all who are interested in the subject.