Books  General Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons

Biography / Memoir

By: George Pendle

Harcourt Brace & Co.

Hardback | Dec 2005 | #154341 | ISBN: 015100997X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £21.50 $27/€26 approx

About this book

Brilliant Rocket Scientist Killed in Explosion screamed the front-page headline of the Los Angeles Times on June 18, 1952. John Parsons, a maverick rocketeer whose work had helped transform the rocket from a derided sci-fi plotline into a reality, was at first mourned as a tragically young victim of mishandled chemicals. But as reporters dug deeper a shocking story emerged-Parsons had been performing occult rites and summoning spirits as a follower of Aleister Crowley-and he was promptly written off as an embarrassment to science.

George Pendle tells Parsons's extraordinary life story for the first time. Fueled from childhood by dreams of space flight, Parsons was a crucial innovator during rocketry's birth. But his visionary imagination also led him into the occult community thriving in 1930s Los Angeles, and when fantasy's pull became stronger than reality, he lost both his work and his wife. Parsons was just emerging from his personal underworld when he died at age thirty-seven. In Strange Angel, Pendle recovers a fascinating life and explores the unruly consequences of genius.


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