Spacefarers

Ebook $29.95

Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press | Nov 06, 2013 | 260 Pages | ISBN 9781935623250

  • Hardcover$29.95

    Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press | Jul 09, 2013 | 256 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9781935623199

  • Ebook$29.95

    Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press | Nov 06, 2013 | 260 Pages | ISBN 9781935623250

Praise

CHOICE

This volume is based on a scholarly conference held at NASA headquarters in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight. An emerging theme was the image of astronauts and cosmonauts in popular culture and the media in the US and Russia/Soviet Union. The book begins with a fine editorial introduction by Neufeld (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum). Next, nine scholars from the social sciences and the humanities address this broad topic. The first three chapters consider the images of American astronauts over time, from the early “heroic era” to the space shuttle period. The following three chapters take a comparative look at the American astronauts and the Russian cosmonauts, including an excellent chapter focusing on Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, in Russian and Soviet myth. The cult of Gagarin took on religious-like relevance in Soviet times, and continues to provide nostalgic and nationalistic comfort in rural Russia today. The final three chapters address astronauts exclusively in the space shuttle era, including a revealing analysis of the sexism the first six female astronauts chosen by NASA in 1978 faced. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic, professional, and general history of science/space exploration collections.   –J. Z. Kiss, University of Mississippi

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