On October 4, 1957, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union secretly launched Sputnik, the Earth's first ever artificial moon. No bigger than a basketball, this tiny satellite was powered by a car battery. Yet for all its simplicity, Sputnik transformed science fiction into reality, passing over the stunned American continent once every 101 minutes and propelling the USSR from backward totalitarian regime to cutting edge superpower and pioneer of the Space Age. The United States, desperate to catch up, trailed the Soviets into the space race the following year, with a controversial space programme masterminded by former Nazi rocket scientists.
"Red Moon Rising" tells for the first time the full story of this real life historical thriller and its colourful cast of characters.There is Sergei Korolev, Russian rocket designer and literally toothless survivor of Stalin's purges, whose identity remained secret until his death in 1966; Mihail Tikhonravov, a chain smoking, hard drinking space visionary who would eventually become a Soviet spymaster; Wernher von Braun, Nazi bomb maker turned American space prophet; and President Eisenhower, relaxing on the golf course whilst the USSR lays claim to the skies, a reaction to be echoed eerily in 2001 by the presidential behaviour following 9/11. Containing many parallels with today's political landscape, this is the fascinating story of one of the greatest scientific and psychological coups of the twentieth century, and a pulse racing account of a time when two nations and ideologies were pitted against each other in a quest that laid the foundations of the modern technological world.
'Matthew Brzezinski's RED MOON RISING fills a significant hole in our understanding of the Cold War. A truly gripping, important book.' Douglas Brinkley, author of THE GREAT DELUGE and THE BOYS OF POINTE DU HOC 'In our fear of terrorist attacks, we forget there was an even more panicky time - when Russia's Sputnik first sped across the night sky in October 1957. Matthew Brzezinski has given us a vivid, insightful account of that paranoid age.' Evan Thomas, author of SEA OF THUNDER and THE WISE MEN
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Matthew Brzezinski served as Moscow correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in the mid 1990s. His book on Russia's post communist chaos, Casino Moscow, was published by the Free Press in 2001. Post 9/11, Matthew Brzezinski covered homeland security for the New York Times Magazine. His last book, Fortress America, about the counter terror effort and post 9/11 paranoia, was published in 2004.