When German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun came to the U.S. after World War II to build rockets for the Americans, he became famous as a brilliant visionary engineer, as a manager of complex technology projects and as a charismatic, handsome genius in his field. Walt Disney made memorable TV shows about von Braun’s contribution to science, and Collier’s magazine spotlighted him and his plans for manned spaceflights. Neither Disney nor Collier’s included details of von Braun’s past – and his Faustian bargain with the Nazis – but aeronautics historian Michael J. Neufeld’s biography covers it all. He captures von Braun’s entire story, from child prodigy obsessed with rockets to SS major developing deadly V-2 rockets for Germany to science celebrity living large in America. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone who wants to learn about von Braun’s remarkable intellectual gifts, his singular accomplishments, his Nazi past, his contributions to the U.S. space program and, due to his televised teaching, the country’s overall acceptance of the wonder of science.
About the Author
Historian Michael J. Neufeld chairs the Smithsonian Institution’s Space History Division. His book, The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era, won two prestigious history awards.