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This Magnificent Desolation

This Magnificent Desolation Author Thomas O'Malley
ISBN-10 9781608194711
Release 2013-03-19
Pages 416
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Duncan's entire world is the orphanage where he lives, a solitary outpost on the open plains of northern Minnesota. Aged ten in 1980, he has no memories of his life before now, but he has stories that he recites like prayers: the story of how his mother brought him here during the worst blizzard of the century; the story of how God spoke to him at his birth and gave him a special purpose. Duncan is sure that his mother is dead until the day she turns up to claim him. Maggie Bright, a soprano who was once the talent of her generation, now sings in a San Francisco bar through a haze of whisky cut with sharp regret. She often finishes up in the arms of Joshua McGreevey, a Vietnam vet who earns his living as part of a tunneling crew seventy feet beneath the Bay. He smells of sea silt and loam, as if he has been dredged from the deep bottom of the world - and his wounds run deep too. Thrown into this mysterious adult world, Duncan finds comfort in an ancient radio, from which tumble the voices of Apollo mission astronauts who never came home, and dreams of finding his real father. A heart-breaking, staggering, soaring novel, This Magnificent Desolation allows a child's perspective to illuminate a dark world, and explores the creeping devastation of war, the many facets of loneliness, the redemptive power of the imagination, and the possibility of a kind of grace.



This Magnificent Desolation

This Magnificent Desolation Author Thomas O'Malley
ISBN-10 9781408842607
Release 2014
Pages 401
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A heart-breaking, staggering, soaring novel about war, music, loneliness and the redemptive power of the imagination



This Magnificent Desolation

This Magnificent Desolation Author Thomas O'Malley
ISBN-10 9781408833810
Release 2013-02-18
Pages 416
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Duncan's whole world is the orphanage where he lives. Aged ten, he is sure that his mother is dead until the day she turns up to claim him. Maggie Bright, a soprano who was once the talent of her generation, now sings in a run-down bar through a haze of whisky and regret. She often finishes up in the arms of Joshua McGreevey, a Vietnam vet who earns his living as part of a tunneling crew seventy feet beneath the Bay. Thrown into this adult world of mysterious suffering, Duncan finds comfort in an ancient radio - from which tumble the voices of Apollo mission astronauts who never came home - and dreams of one day finding his father.



Magnificent Desolation

Magnificent Desolation Author Buzz Aldrin
ISBN-10 9780307463470
Release 2009-06-23
Pages 336
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Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.” The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero’s story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider’s view of life as one of the superstars of America’s space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials–and eventual triumphs–back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged–the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasn’t drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space exploration–not only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise. These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero. From the Hardcover edition.



Reaching for the Moon

Reaching for the Moon Author Buzz Aldrin
ISBN-10 9780060554453
Release 2005-05-24
Pages 40
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I walked on the moon. This is my journey. But it didn't begin when I stepped on board Apollo 11 on July 1, 1969. It began the day I was born. Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal is possible—from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the Moon. I always knew the Moon was within my reach—and that I was ready to be on the team that would achieve the first landing. But it was still hard to believe when I took my first step onto the Moon's surface. We all have our own dreams. This is the story of how mine came true.



In the Province of Saints

In the Province of Saints Author Thomas O'Malley
ISBN-10 9780316028486
Release 2007-09-03
Pages 320
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- O'Malley sets a haunting local mystery against the tense backdrop of a country tormented by bloodshed and deep schisms.- In the tradition of Seamus Deane and John McGahern, a stirring, beautifully written, but unsentimental portrait of an Irish boyhood.- Thomas O'Malley's work has appeared in literary journals such as "Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Shenandoah, Gulf Stream, and "Blue Mesa Review.



Return to Earth

Return to Earth Author Buzz Aldrin
ISBN-10 9781504026444
Release 2015-12-15
Pages 338
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Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s courageous, candid memoir of his return to Earth after the historic moon landing and his personal struggle with fame and depression. “We landed with all the grace of a freight elevator,” Buzz Aldrin relates in the opening passages of Return to Earth, remembering Command Module Columbia’s abrupt descent into the gravity of the blue planet. With that splash, Aldrin takes readers on a journey through the human side of the space program, as one of the first two men to land on the moon learns to cope with the pressures of his new public persona. In honest and compelling prose, Aldrin reveals a side of instant fame for which West Point and NASA could never have prepared him. One day a fighter pilot and engineer, the next a cultural hero burdened with the adoration of thousands, Aldrin gives a poignant account of the affair that threatened his marriage, as well as his descent into alcoholism and depression that resulted from trying to be too many things to too many people. He didn’t realize that when he landed on his home planet his odyssey had just begun. As Aldrin puts it, “I traveled to the moon, but the most significant voyage of my life began when I returned from where no man had been before.” Return to Earth is a powerful and moving memoir that exposes the stresses suffered by those in the Apollo program and the price Buzz Aldrin paid when he became an American icon.



Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon Author Gerard Degroot
ISBN-10 0814721133
Release 2006-11-01
Pages 321
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A selection of the History, Scientific American, and Quality Paperback Book Clubs For a very brief moment during the 1960s, America was moonstruck. Boys dreamt of being an astronaut; girls dreamed of marrying one. Americans drank Tang, bought “space pens” that wrote upside down, wore clothes made of space age Mylar, and took imaginary rockets to the moon from theme parks scattered around the country. But despite the best efforts of a generation of scientists, the almost foolhardy heroics of the astronauts, and 35 billion dollars, the moon turned out to be a place of “magnificent desolation,” to use Buzz Aldrin’s words: a sterile rock of no purpose to anyone. In Dark Side of the Moon, Gerard J. DeGroot reveals how NASA cashed in on the Americans’ thirst for heroes in an age of discontent and became obsessed with putting men in space. The moon mission was sold as a race which America could not afford to lose. Landing on the moon, it was argued, would be good for the economy, for politics, and for the soul. It could even win the Cold War. The great tragedy is that so much effort and expense was devoted to a small step that did virtually nothing for mankind. Drawing on meticulous archival research, DeGroot cuts through the myths constructed by the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations and sustained by NASA ever since. He finds a gang of cynics, demagogues, scheming politicians, and corporations who amassed enormous power and profits by exploiting the fear of what the Russians might do in space. Exposing the truth behind one of the most revered fictions of American history, Dark Side of the Moon explains why the American space program has been caught in a state of purposeless wandering ever since Neil Armstrong descended from Apollo 11 and stepped onto the moon. The effort devoted to the space program was indeed magnificent and its cultural impact was profound, but the purpose of the program was as desolate and dry as lunar dust.



Serpents in the Cold

Serpents in the Cold Author Thomas O'Malley
ISBN-10 9780316323499
Release 2015-01-01
Pages 400
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A serial killer stalks the streets of 1950s Boston--and two friends take it upon themselves to bring him down. Post-war Boston is down on its luck and looking for change. A year after the Great Brink's Robbery--the largest robbery in the history of the United States--Boston is known more for its seedy underbelly than for its rich, historical past. The winter of 1951 is the worst in recent memory, and the Bruins are suffering another losing season. Like Boston itself, lifelong residents Cal O'Brien and Dante Cooper are struggling to find their identities after World War II. Cal has built a mildly promising life for himself as an employee of a company providing private security, whether to an honorable businessman who needs a night watchman or to an Irish mafioso who needs to have someone's legs broken. Dante is everything Cal is not. A heroin addict trying and failing to stay clean, Dante feels the call to do good after he discovers that his sister-in-law was the latest victim of a serial killer targeting disadvantaged women. Woefully unqualified, but determined to help, Cal and Dante take it upon themselves to track the killer--but their daunting quest takes on dangerous consequences when the trail leads them to the highest ranks of city government. There are a few well-placed men who don't want Cal and Dante to solve this case. An absorbing mixture of history and suspense, told with a meticulous eye for detail and character, Serpents in the Cold is a moving exploration about two men battling for second chances.



No Dream Is Too High

No Dream Is Too High Author Buzz Aldrin
ISBN-10 9781426216503
Release 2016-04-05
Pages 224
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Beloved American hero Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles, and irreverent anecdotes he's gathered through his event-filled life—both in outer space and on earth—in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation. Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He is a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: still a non-stop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be 86 in 2016. No Dream Is Too High whittles down Buzz Aldrin's event-filled life into a short list of principles he values, each illustrated by fascinating anecdotes and memories, such as: · Second comes right after first. NASA protocol should have meant he was first on the moon, but rules changed just before the mission. How he learned to be proud of being the second man on the moon. · Look for opportunities, not obstacles. Buzz was rejected the first time he applied to be an astronaut. Failure is an opportunity to learn to do better. · Always maintain your spirit of adventure. For his 80th birthday, Buzz went diving in the Galapagos and hitched a ride on a whale shark. He stays fit, energetic, and fascinated with life. No Dream Is Too High is a beautiful memento, a thought-provoking set of ideas, and a new opportunity for Buzz Aldrin to connect with the masses of people who recognize his unique place in human history.



Rocket Men

Rocket Men Author Craig Nelson
ISBN-10 9781101057735
Release 2009-06-25
Pages 416
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Read Craig Nelson's posts on the Penguin Blog. "Celebrates a bold era when voyaging beyond the Earth was deemed crucial to national security and pride." -The Wall Street Journal Restoring the drama, majesty, and sheer improbability of an American triumph, this is award-winning historian Craig Nelson's definitive and thrilling story of man's first trip to the moon. At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket launched in the presence of more than a million spectators who had gathered to witness a truly historic event. Through interviews, 23,000 pages of NASA oral histories, and declassified CIA documents on the space race, Rocket Men presents a vivid narrative of the moon mission, taking readers on the journey to one of the last frontiers of the human imagination. From the Trade Paperback edition.



Chickenhawk

Chickenhawk Author Robert Mason
ISBN-10 110117515X
Release 2005-03-29
Pages 496
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A true, bestselling story from the battlefield that faithfully portrays the horror, the madness, and the trauma of the Vietnam War More than half a million copies of Chickenhawk have been sold since it was first published in 1983. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death—the extreme emotions of a "chickenhawk" in constant danger. "Very simply the best book so far about Vietnam." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch



Magnificent Delusions

Magnificent Delusions Author Husain Haqqani
ISBN-10 9781610394512
Release 2013-11-05
Pages 432
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The relationship between America and Pakistan is based on mutual incomprehension and always has been. Pakistan—to American eyes—has gone from being a quirky irrelevance, to a stabilizing friend, to an essential military ally, to a seedbed of terror. America—to Pakistani eyes—has been a guarantee of security, a coldly distant scold, an enthusiastic military enabler, and is now a threat to national security and a source of humiliation. The countries are not merely at odds. Each believes it can play the other—with sometimes absurd, sometimes tragic, results. The conventional narrative about the war in Afghanistan, for instance, has revolved around the Soviet invasion in 1979. But President Jimmy Carter signed the first authorization to help the Pakistani-backed mujahedeen covertly on July 3—almost six months before the Soviets invaded. Americans were told, and like to believe, that what followed was Charlie Wilson's war of Afghani liberation, with which they remain embroiled to this day. It was not. It was General Zia-ul-Haq's vicious regional power play. Husain Haqqani has a unique insight into Pakistan, his homeland, and America, where he was ambassador and is now a professor at Boston University. His life has mapped the relationship of the two countries and he has found himself often close to the heart of it, sometimes in very confrontational circumstances, and this has allowed him to write the story of a misbegotten diplomatic love affair, here memorably laid bare.



Magnificent Desolation

Magnificent Desolation Author
ISBN-10 OCLC:952452617
Release 2016
Pages
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Saddle-bound, paperback, black and white line drawings.



Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars Author Buzz Aldrin
ISBN-10 9781426210181
Release 2013-05-07
Pages 272
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Can astronauts reach Mars by 2035? Absolutely, says Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon. Celebrated astronaut, brilliant engineer, bestselling author, Aldrin believes it is not only possibly but vital to America’s future to keep pushing the space frontier outward for the sake of exploration, science, development, commerce, and security. What we need, he argues, is a commitment by the U.S. President as rousing as JFK’s promise to reach the moon by the end of the 1960s—an audacious, inspiring goal-and a unified vision for space exploration. In Mission to Mars, Aldrin plots that trajectory, stressing that American-led space exploration is essential to the economic and technological vitality of the nation and the world. Do you dare to dream big? Then join Aldrin in his thought provoking and inspiring Mission to Mars. From the Trade Paperback edition.



The Eye of the Mammoth

The Eye of the Mammoth Author Stephen Harrigan
ISBN-10 9780292745612
Release 2013-04-15
Pages 364
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In four decades of writing for magazines ranging from Texas Monthly to the Atlantic, American History, and Travel Holiday, Stephen Harrigan has established himself as one of America’s most thoughtful writers. In this career-spanning anthology, which gathers together essays from two previous books—A Natural State and Comanche Midnight—as well as previously uncollected work, readers finally have a comprehensive collection of Harrigan’s best nonfiction. History—natural history, human history, and personal history—and place are the cornerstones of The Eye of the Mammoth. But the specific history or place varies considerably from essay to essay. Harrigan’s career has taken him from the Alaska Highway to the Chihuahuan Desert, from the casinos of Monaco to his ancestors’ village in the Czech Republic. Texas is the subject of a number of essays, and a force in shaping others, as in “The Anger of Achilles,” in which a nineteenth-century painting moves the author despite his possessing a “Texan’s suspicion of serious culture.” Harrigan’s deceptively straightforward voice, however, belies an intense curiosity about things that, by his own admission, may be “unknowable.” Certainly, we are limited in what we can know about the inner life of George Washington, the last days of Davy Crockett, or the motives of a caged tiger, but Harrigan’s gift—a gift that has also made him an award-winning novelist—is to bring readers closer to such things, to make them less remote, just as a cave painting in the title essay eerily transmits the living stare of a long-extinct mammoth.



The Return

The Return Author Buzz Aldrin
ISBN-10 081257060X
Release 2001-07-15
Pages 352
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Former astronaut Scott Blackstone find his reputation and the future of space travel on the line in the wake of a terrible shuttle accident, but he faces a new challenge when a nuclear explosion in space threatens the lives of the construction crew on the International Space Station. Reprint.