Moondust: In Search of the Men who Fell to Earth, By Andrew Smith

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The Independent Culture

Only one of the 12 Moon-walkers admitted to crying on the Moon's surface, but all were deeply affected by such a unique perspective of Earth. The journalist Andrew Smith sets out to interview the nine of those lunar walkers still alive, shedding light on the psychological as well as the spatial experience of the Moon.

Post-adventure, they reacted in wildly different ways: some suffered breakdowns of mind and marriage, one began painting Moonscapes, others became space consultants. In elegant prose, Smith traverses both lunar and earthly matters, skillfully interweaving political, social and cultural context from the years 1969-1972.

Reissued with a new preface and afterword, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing, this captivating book is testament to the fact that the Moon continues to exert a pull not only on astronauts but on writers too.

The Apollo lunar missions have been called the last optimistic act of the 20th century. For Barack Obama, born in the same year JFK launched the Apollo Program, the Moon landings incite a feeling that anything might be possible – the inspiring sentiment captured so eloquently in these pages.