Shoot for the Moon – The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11 by James Donovan; Little, Brown and Company (2019); 454 pages, $30.00.

This impressive book is a must-read this year given that it’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission – humankind’s first high-stepping trek to Earth’s Moon.

As a space aged old-timer I found author Donovan’s account a memory-jarring read, chock full of details that my fellow page-turners will truly enjoy.

The book is divided into 4 parts that add up to 17 chapters of brilliant reading. Be it “Cossacks in Space,” “Of Monkeys and Men,” to “You’re go, and “Descent to Luna,” Donovan doesn’t skimp on the triumph that was Apollo, how American spunk and spirit made it happen, and how the achievement was sparked by the U.S.-Soviet Union space race.

The connective tissue to Apollo – the single-seat Mercury and Gemini two-seater missions – is expertly detailed and is a solid contribution to the overall book. As the author also points out in the book’s early pages: “Rockets exploded. Systems malfunctioned. Men died. The murder of a visionary president whose bold challenge had fired the program only reaffirmed their dedication to finishing the job.”

Shoot for the Moon carries a number of fresh interviews with space controllers and engineers, as well as Apollo astronauts, further adding to this engaging and very well-researched volume. The book includes three segments of black and white/color images that provide a visual ramp-up to the Apollo 11 adventure.

Donovan is author of the bestselling books A Terrible Glory- Custer and the Little Bighorn, The Last Great Battle of the American West and The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo – and the Sacrifice that Forged a Nation.

Being a Wild West historian, I’m thankful Donovan wrote this book of pioneering the space frontier.

For more information on this book, on sale March 12th, go to:

Also, go to this informative video at:

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