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Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War

Jeff Shesol

If the United States couldn't catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth. That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War--a moment when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the US to every major milestone in space.

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Book Information

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company.
Publish Date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 400
ISBN-13: 9781324003243
ISBN-10: 1324003243
Language: English

Full Description

If the United States couldn't catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War--a moment when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the US to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival--and America was losing.

When John Glenn blasted into orbit on February 20, 1962, his mission was greater than circling Earth; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America's sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re-creates the sense of tension to a flight that riveted the world. Drawing on new sources, interviews, and Glenn's personal notes, Mercury Rising shows how the astronaut's heroics lifted the nation's hopes in what Kennedy called the "hour of maximum danger."

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