Harper Academic

Beyond

The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space

by Stephen Walker

On Sale: 04/13/2021

Price: $29.99

Beyond

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Beyond

The Astonishing Story of the First Human to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space

by Stephen Walker

On Sale: 04/13/2021

Format:

Price: $29.99

About the Book

Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War, and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life.” —Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road

A thrilling tale of one of humanity’s greatest adventures, a battle of wits, will, genius and extraordinary courage as the Soviets and Americans raced to put the first human in space.

On April 12, 1961, twenty-seven-year old Yuri Gagarin, a Russian ex-foundry worker and loyal Communist, climbed inside a tiny spherical capsule on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile—originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead—and blasted into the skies. Eleven minutes later he was in orbit, the first human ever to leave the planet.

 Traveling at almost 18,000 miles per hour—ten times faster than a rifle bullet—Gagarin circled the globe in just 106 minutes. From his windows he saw the earth as nobody had before, crossing a sunset and a sunrise, crossing oceans and continents, witnessing both its beauty and its fragility. While his launch began in total secrecy, within hours of his landing he had become the most famous man on the planet.

Beyond tells the gripping story behind that epic flight on its 60th anniversary. It happened in the depths of the Cold War as the US and USSR confronted each other across an Iron Curtain. Both superpowers committed huge resources to get a man in space first. Both took huge risks. And the race would come down to the wire. 

Drawing on extensive original research and the vivid testimony of eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Stephen Walker unpacks secrets that were hidden for decades and takes the reader into the heart of the drama – to the scientists, engineers and political leaders on both sides, and above all to the American astronauts and their Soviet rivals battling for supremacy in the heavens. 

Critical Praise

Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War, and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life.” - Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road

“Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker’s passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father’s extraordinary journey vividly to life.”          - Elena Gagarina, daughter of Yuri Gagarin

“Stephen Walker sends us on an exhilarating journey into space. His book is a dramatic tour de force. Exciting, vivid, and at times deeply moving, it also makes a significant contribution to our understanding of early space travel.”                         -  Mark Bostridge, author of Florence Nightingale, The Making of an Icon

A spellbinding and completely authoritative account of Gagarin’s unexpected journey to immortality, this masterful book had me enthralled from the outset. A guaranteed gem.”                                                                                                                    - Colin Burgess, author of Freedom 7: The Historic Flight of Alan B. Shepard

“The very best account of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space mission — vivid, thoughtful, and respectful of the characters in the story. A wonderfully rendered story of an epochal event."                           - Prof. Asif Siddiqi, author of The Challenge to Apollo 

“Dramatic and dynamic. Stephen Walker’s passion for his subject along with his exceptional research and attention to detail have brought my father’s extraordinary journey vividly to life." - Elena Gagarina, daughter of Yuri Gagarin, the world's first spaceman

“Exciting, well researched, and fascinating. I loved every word.”   - Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of Alan Shepard, America's first astronaut 

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062978158
  • ISBN 10: 0062978152
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 04/13/2021
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 1.490 in (d)
  • Pages: 496
  • List Price: $29.99
  • BISAC1 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Science & Technology
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / Expeditions & Discoveries
  • BISAC3 : SCIENCE / Space Science