Neil Armstrong A Life of Flight

Much has been written about Neil Armstrong, America’s modern hero and history’s most famous space traveler. Yet shy of fame and never one to steal the spotlight Armstrong was always reluctant to discuss his personal side of events. Here for the first time is the definitive story of Neil’s life of flight he shared for five decades with a trusted friend – Jay Barbree.

Working from 50 years of conversations he had with Neil, from notes, interviews, NASA spaceflight transcripts, and remembrances of those Armstrong trusted, Barbree writes about Neil’s three passions – flight, family, and friends. This is the inside story of Neil Armstrong from the time he flew combat missions in the Korean War and then flew a rocket plane called the X-15 to the edge of space,  to when he saved his Gemini 8 by flying the first emergency return from Earth orbit and then flew Apollo-Eleven to the moon’s Sea of Tranquility.

Together Neil and Jay discussed everything, from his love of flying, to the war years, and of course his time in space. The book is full of never-before-seen photos and personal details written down for the first time, including what Armstrong really felt when he took that first step on the moon, what life in NASA was like, his relationships with the other astronauts, and what he felt the future of space exploration should be.

As the only reporter to have covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings Jay knows these events intimately. Neil Armstrong himself said, “Barbree is history’s most experienced space journalist. He is exceptionally well qualified to recall and write the events and emotions of our time.”

Through his friendship with Neil and his dedicated research, Barbree bring us the most accurate account of his friend’s life, the book he and the famed astronaut planned together for 20 years.

My Review

I have said it several times before I find anything aviation related to be intriguing. I someday do plan to finish up getting my pilot's license. Thus this is why for fans of aviation you should check this book out. Everyone is familiar with Neil Armstrong but do you know the "real" man in the suit?

Sometimes when you read a book you just know that author or writer is the right person for the job and you could not picture anyone else telling the story with such justice. Well this was the case with this book. Because of Mr. Barbree's career and such good friendship with Mr. Armstrong, he had great knowledge to Mr. Armstrong that one a good friend would know. I did not feel like I was reading a book but more like I was in the room with Mr. Armstrong or chatting with Mr. Barbree. The extra bonus to me was all the old pictures. There were many. Which I thought were great. You know where you pick up a memoir and are looking forward to the pictures but there are only like 6 to 8 pictures and you are like "Where are all the pictures and I feel like I could see these pictures online anywhere". I did not feel like this at all. Again, if you want to learn more about who Mr. Armstrong is than you should pick up a copy of this book before it flies away.


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