I'm probably being a bit mean with the stars here, but aspects of this book really grated. It seemed to me to be a bit too "God bless America!" By this I'm not criticising the inclusion of the historical context in which the space race occurred, but some of the narrative comment that seemed a little too much in the style "and thus, freedom, Christianity and the American way triumphed over evil commie dictatorships!" This might play very well to a American audience in 1998, but I found it rather jarred my 2010/insignificant pacific democracy sensibilities. I also found the highly detailed accounts of what the astronauts' wives were doing/thinking/feeling a bit intrusive and, frankly, repetitive. So all of this prevented me giving this book a higher star rating.