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Book Review: The Dark Side of the Moon

As a liquid into a clear glass, opinions define their holder. When opinions are forged through the research process, the carrier is often considered as a scholar. When opinions are emotionally delivered from the ether, the support is often considered a curmudgeon.Although Gerard J. DeGroot wearing the academic dress that comes with his position as professor of Modern History at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, which has one foot on the banana peel of curmudgeoness with his new book, The Dark Side of the Moon. DeGroot believes that America was misled politically manned space race during the second half of the 20th century and was fleeced by the Apollo lunar program in particular. He is convinced that, in retrospect, the unmanned exploration, space robotics have been economically, culturally and scientifically superior to the thesis focused method.DeGroot astronaut hero 's is not unique, but there is still room to further convincing arguments in this field of study that might be called New Frontier Redux. The general problem with DeGroot's approach is that he has done no new research evidence and come to any original opinion. We can see right through his ship, so to speak, and can only be half full that.DeGroot proclaiming his opinion supposedly doing unconventional in a conventional manner. He relates a chronological family history of the evolution of rocketry and space travel. Most of his material from other sources who have visited these issues in depth, including Tom Wolfe, William E. Burrows, Dennis and Walter A. Piskiewicz McDougall. For example, large sections of Sputnik Paul Dickson impressive book: The Shock of the century are paralleled thought by thought, paragraph by paragraph, often with attribution, but sometimes not. DeGroot apparently so admired the strange tale of the 19th century called "The brick moon" as told in the opening of 2001 Dickson doubling the history book for the beginning of yours. If DeGroot know it or not, much of the information that tells about rocket pioneer Robert Goddard is Milton Lehman, 1963 Goddard biography entitled The Tall Man, a tool of previous researchers have used. However, there is no attribution and Lehman's book is not listed in the bibliography dark side. Such absence is indicative of the strong dependence upon standing DeGroot sources.While high on the shoulders of giants, DeGroot can not seem to help himself to launch the contradictions in some researchers' findings better. It is prone to do so without any basis in fact and pure emotion, like a poker player bluff with just a couple of deuces. An example is the accusation DeGroot Wehner von Braun affiliation with the Nazi party in the statement that von Braun "enjoyed wearing his SS uniform smarter every time someone visits important Peenemünde," the construction of rockets V- 2. No information provided to substantiate this claim. In fact, it goes against the deep and thorough work of Michael J. Neufeld and his 1995 book entitled The Rocket and the Reich, which determined that von Braun "is known to have worn the uniform at one time, and that was during Himmler's second visit in June 1943, when (Army Colonel Walter) Dornberger had ordered him to. "Dark Side of the Moon is emotional work. When you keep sane, DeGroot is capable of making provocative thoughts, even witty. He describes the Sputnik II, launched by the Soviets in November 1957 as a "satellite weighs about 500 kilos, or about the size of a small car (virtually unknown in America)." Sniffs in the draft the moon: "Expressed in the terms established by the Soviets and Americans, the moon race was superficial and trivial The two superpowers have behaved like two bald men fighting over a comb .." At this level, the writing works well material such as newspaper opinion articles. Not surprisingly, DeGroot writes many articles as a separate text disappointing basis.The has a tendency to dissolve in the diatribe and filtered historical value. DeGroot Pessimism is the parade when he laments: "Virtually every major technological developments, including television, nuclear energy, and the Internet, initially expected to improve the man, either physically or morally, or both. By contrast, men have made more efficient in its moral corruption. "You can only go downhill from there.Indeed, falling like a rock off a cliff. "Instead of goals, Americans were offered fantasies … united by the mantra weak man must explore, "DeGroot preached. "It was a great fantasy, a collective will to enjoy a romantic illusion. Americans did not want to face the harsh reality of what they were trying. I can not believe in cost. They did not want to think about whether the search was no point, purpose or value … The 'need to study "is really a great myth, an imaginary construction used to fleece the taxpayers who indirectly adventure rather than hospital beds. The quest to explore could inspire some people who feel the need to climb Everest or walk to the North Pole, but not an indicator of cultural vitality. The disease is more common among those who lack the imagination to enjoy life on Earth or to see how we can improve. "Just when DeGroot sounds like the last Luddite, spoilers and greedy tightly wrapped in a package that unleashes this characterization gnashing of the space age," Prestige, one thing that does not fill stomachs, and kept the crowd hot or keep out predators, is suddenly the number one priority of a nation under siege … Shortly after Sputnik, the American people took the road surface marking. Forget about democracy, freedom, forget, forget the American dream. The value of a nation will now be measured by its ability to put a dog into orbit. "The use of policy in the manga, DeGroot finds fault with every decision, every word and every action taken by a known Democrat and yet gives Eisenhower and other Republicans, congratulations to govern undiluted thin. The disapproval is too personal, as in this venomous hiss: "Kennedy was very similar to NASA on the surface, the two were handsome, articulate, bold and brave Underneath, both were manipulative, lying, scheming, and untrustworthy … "In a dramatic passage horrible, DeGroot seeks to explain the national race to meet the Kennedy challenge of making a trip insurance moon within the decade of 1960 to say:" One thing is certain . Kennedy was much more valuable to NASA dead than he ever was alive. "Next, the compounds of the outrage over the footnote to another murder conspiracy theory.DeGroot crazy, just do not see the moon as a goal worthy of money, the challenge or the destination. "Why do so many people so eager to go to a worthless rock in the sky?" He asks rhetorically, but then gives an answer anyway, mind-blowingly a ridiculous answer. "Part of the reason was the worship of technology. At that time, technology was synonymous with progress. " This is to make the "time" sound quaint and provincial, but when, pray tell, in the history of mankind has the technology has been synonymous with progress? "Portuguese and Spanish courts have pulled the plug in browsers faster than you can say Basque da Gama, if your trip was entirely esoteric, or if rocks had brought only worthless," said DeGroot in the form to move the fingers. But not to go ahead and admit that is exactly what the U.S. did in 1972 after the course and moon lunar exploration vehicles lost their weaknesses luster.The texture Dark Side of the Moon is a shame, because the issue of continued space exploration deserves intelligent control, both historical and contemporary variety. We must keep weighing the costs and benefits, financial, cultural, technical and spiritual. In 1965, Whitney Young of the National Urban League, said: "It will cost thirty-five billion dollars to put two men on the moon. It would take ten billion dollars to lift all the poor of this country above the official poverty level this year. Something is wrong somewhere. "On the other side of the large coin, J. Robert Oppenheimer notes that scientific discovery is not performed because it is useful, but as is possible. Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar QuestBy Gerard J. DeGrootNew York University Press, 321 pages, $ 29.95ISBN 0814719953

October 25, 2011iavalanche Comments Off
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