Posted By RichC on April 22, 2018
Ordered the book Rocket Men, The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon based on the author Robert Kurson and enjoying the writing style and content in his previous book Shadow Divers. If you enjoy history, space exploration, NASA and the heroic astronauts and scientist that took on the 1960s race to the moon … this book is for you.
In the early chapters, the content triggered my thinking about the the previous generations of Americans who accomplished amazing things in a very short period of time. Mentally I started to think about the amazing decades of 20th century innovations to today’s malaise (last few decades). What incredible building projects we saw from advancement in manufacturing, constructing huge skyscrapers filling US cities, hydroelectric dams and development of the airplane in the early 1900s. America came together in very short order to become the world preeminent military power after being attacked in 1941 in a very few years – amazing what was accomplished. In the decade of the 1950s we created the Interstate Highway System connecting our nation … followed by EVERYTHING that happened all at the same time in the 1960s. We had the near nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union, racial unrest within our country, a long painful and unpopular war in Vietnam … all the while catching up and surpassing the Soviets in the space race and "choosing to go to the moon in this decade" as President Kennedy so memorably challenged us.
Then, something changed? Instead of visionary goals and great accomplishment, we seemed to lose our ambition and drive of achievement. We sat back in our comfort, became wasteful and self-absorbed. Instead of leaders dangling carrot and encouraging each of us to be our best, government made it too easy to "just get by" without much effort. Years turned into decades, and the once inspirational government agencies and programs became bloated bureaucracies. We as a nation sat back on the laurels of our past and patted ourselves on the back. We now we have a significant number of Americans less interested working hard, sacrificing for the future or taking risk. Besides the innovation of a few in technology and building a sharing economy, what great accomplishments have marked America since the Rocket Men?
TIDBIT for the fun of it:
Still one of the most popular posts on my blog is -"Who is Max Peck?" – was a question I asked after reading First Man back in 2005 (note the comment left on my blog to this post from Nancy PECK Coyle below).