For many, the moon landing was the defining event of the twentieth century. So it seems only fitting that Norman Mailer-the literary provocateur who altered the landscape of American nonfiction-wrote the most wide-ranging, far-seeing chronicle of the Apollo 11 mission. A classic chronicle of America's reach for greatness in the midst of the Cold War, Of a Fire on the Moon compiles the reportage Mailer published between 1969 and 1970 in Life magazine: gripping firsthand dispatches from inside NASA's clandestine operations in Houston and Cape Kennedy; technical insights into the magnitude of their awe-inspiring feat; and prescient meditations that place the event in human context as only Mailer could.
Praise for Of a Fire on the Moon
"The gift of a genius . . . a twentieth-century American epic-a Moby Dick of space."-New York
"Mailer's account of Apollo 11 stands as a stunning image of human energy and purposefulness. . . . It is an act of revelation-the only verbal deed to be worthy of the dream and the reality it celebrates."-Saturday Review
"A wild and dazzling book."-The New York Times Book Review
"Still the most challenging and stimulating account of [the] mission to appear in print."-The Washington Post
Praise for Norman Mailer
"[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation."-The New York Times
"A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent."-The New Yorker
"Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure."-The Washington Post
"A devastatingly alive and original creative mind."-Life
"Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance."-The New York Review of Books
"The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book."-Chicago Tribune
"Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream."-The Cincinnati Post
Born in 1923 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Norman Mailer was one of the most influential writers of the second half of the twentieth century and a leading public intellectual for nearly sixty years. He is the author of more than thirty books. The Castle in the Forest, his last novel, was his eleventh New York Times bestseller. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead, has never gone out of print. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner's Song and is the only person to have won Pulitzers in both fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books were nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2005. Mr. Mailer died in 2007 in New York City.