The history of the intensely secretive Soviet space program makes a riveting backdrop to this lucid biography of the dominant figure in that program, Sergei Korolev (1907-66). A brilliant engineer and superb organizer, Korolev also possessed the cynicism and political cunning necessary to get his work done and protect his staff from a government so paranoid he was forced to work in anonymity, known only as the Chief Designer. The author, himself an aerospace professional, interviewed many of Korolev's colleagues in Russia and brings to life both his enormous achievements and his earthy personality.
How One Man Masterminded the Soviet Drive Beat America to the Moon.
"Fascinating . . . packed with technical and historical detail for the space expert and enthusiast alike . . . Great stuff!"-New Scientist
"In this exceptional book, James Harford pieces together a most compelling and well-written tale. . . . Must reading."-Space News.
"Through masterful research and an engaging narrative style, James Harford gives the world its first in-depth look at the man who should rightly be called the father of the Soviet space program."-Norman R. Augustine, CEO, Lockheed Martin.
"In Korolev, James Harford has written a masterly biography of this enigmatic 'Chief Designer' whose role the Soviets kept secret for fear that Western agents might 'get at' him."-Daily Telegraph.
"Harford's fluency in Russian and his intimate knowledge of space technology give us insights that few, if any, Americans and Russians have had into this dark history of Soviet space."-Dr. Herbert Friedman, Chief Scientist, Hulburt Center for Space Research Naval Research Laboratory.
"Reveals the complex, driven personality of a man who, despite unjust imprisonment in the Gulag, toiled tirelessly for the Soviet military industrial complex. . . . More than just a biography, this is also a history of the Soviet space program at the height of the Cold War. . . . Highly recommended."-Library Journal.
"For decades the identity of the Russian Chief Designer who shocked the world with the launching of the first Sputnik was one of the Soviet Union's best-kept secrets. This book tells vividly the story of that man, Sergei Korolev, in remarkable detail, with many facts and anecdotes previously unavailable to the West."-Sergei Khrushchev, Visiting Senior Fellow, Center for Foreign Policy Development.
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