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Challenger

A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space

«Enthralling, dramatic and utterly comprehensive. Over a twenty-year history that moves at the pace of a thriller, Adam Higginbotham charts the wide-eyed enthusiasm and optimism of a renewed US space program where anything was possible, but which – over time – was fatally eroded by bureaucratic infighting, political pressure and systemic underfunding. In Higginbotham’s masterly hands, we see the heights and disasters made possible by human ingenuity»

Cara McGoogan, author of The Poison Line

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Midnight in Chernobyl comes the definitive, dramatic, minute-by-minute story of the Challenger space shuttle disaster based on fascinating in-depth reporting and new archival research – this is riveting history that reads like a thriller

** THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER **

'Gripping' ED CAESAR • 'Masterly' GEOFF DYER • 'Incredible' TIM HARFORD • 'A universal story that transcends time' NEW YORK TIMES • 'Superb' DAILY TELEGRAPH

On the morning of 28 January 1986, just seventy-three seconds into flight, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all seven people on board. Millions around the world witnessed the tragic deaths of the crew, which included schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. Like the assassination of JFK, the Challenger disaster is a defining moment in twentieth century history – one that forever changed the way America thought of itself and its optimistic view of the future. Yet the full story of what happened – and why – has never been told.

Based on extensive archival research and meticulous, original reporting, Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space follows a handful of central protagonists – including each of the seven members of the doomed crew – through the years leading up to the accident, a detailed account of the tragedy itself, and into the investigation that followed. It’s a compelling tale of optimism and ingenuity shattered by political cynicism and cost-cutting in the interests of burnishing national prestige; of hubristic ‘go fever’; and of an investigation driven by heroic leakers and whistle-blowers determined to bring the truth to light.

With astonishing clarity and narrative verve, Adam Higginbotham reveals the history of the shuttle program, the lives of men and women whose stories have been overshadowed by the disaster, as well as the designers, engineers and test pilots who struggled against the odds to get the first shuttle into space. A masterful blend of riveting human drama, fascinating science and shocking political infighting, Challenger brings to life a turning point in our history. The result is an even more complex and extraordinary story than any of us remembered – or thought possible.

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From the New York Times-bestselling author of Midnight in Chernobyl comes the definitive, dramatic, minute-by-minute story of the Challenger space shuttle disaster based on fascinating in-depth reporting and new archival research – this is riveting history that reads like a thriller

** THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER **

'Gripping' ED CAESAR • 'Masterly' GEOFF DYER • 'Incredible' TIM HARFORD • 'A universal story that transcends time' NEW YORK TIMES • 'Superb' DAILY TELEGRAPH

On the morning of 28 January 1986, just seventy-three seconds into flight, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all seven people on board. Millions around the world witnessed the tragic deaths of the crew, which included schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. Like the assassination of JFK, the Challenger disaster is a defining moment in twentieth century history – one that forever changed the way America thought of itself and its optimistic view of the future. Yet the full story of what happened – and why – has never been told.

Based on extensive archival research and meticulous, original reporting, Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space follows a handful of central protagonists – including each of the seven members of the doomed crew – through the years leading up to the accident, a detailed account of the tragedy itself, and into the investigation that followed. It’s a compelling tale of optimism and ingenuity shattered by political cynicism and cost-cutting in the interests of burnishing national prestige; of hubristic ‘go fever’; and of an investigation driven by heroic leakers and whistle-blowers determined to bring the truth to light.

With astonishing clarity and narrative verve, Adam Higginbotham reveals the history of the shuttle program, the lives of men and women whose stories have been overshadowed by the disaster, as well as the designers, engineers and test pilots who struggled against the odds to get the first shuttle into space. A masterful blend of riveting human drama, fascinating science and shocking political infighting, Challenger brings to life a turning point in our history. The result is an even more complex and extraordinary story than any of us remembered – or thought possible.

Detaljer

Forlag
Viking
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
576
ISBN
9780241543696
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
24 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Adam Higginbotham writes for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, Businessweek, Smithsonian, Men’s Journal, and The Atavist. He began his career in magazines and newspapers in London, where he was the editor-­in-chief of The Face and a contributing editor at The Sunday Telegraph. The author of Midnight in Chernobyl, he lives in New York City.

Anmeldelser

«Enthralling, dramatic and utterly comprehensive. Over a twenty-year history that moves at the pace of a thriller, Adam Higginbotham charts the wide-eyed enthusiasm and optimism of a renewed US space program where anything was possible, but which – over time – was fatally eroded by bureaucratic infighting, political pressure and systemic underfunding. In Higginbotham’s masterly hands, we see the heights and disasters made possible by human ingenuity»

Cara McGoogan, author of The Poison Line

«No book that I’ve reviewed in the past ten years has disturbed me quite like this one. I cried for McAuliffe and her fellow crew members, whose innocent ideals of space exploration were so cruelly exploited. Higginbotham tells this tragic story with superb dramatic instinct — we know what’s going to happen, but feel the suspense nonetheless»

Gerard DeGroot, The Times

«Superb . . . authoritative and immediate – scrupulous history which has the ripping compulsion of the best reporting»

Alex Diggins, Daily Telegraph

«A fascinating and superbly researched account of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger soon after take off. A masterly blend of human drama, science and political infighting»

Observer

«A masterly example of how meticulous research and adherence to factual detail can build a narrative of almost unbearable suspense. At the same time, with the outcome known from the beginning, the story has the implacable power of tragic inevitability»

Geoff Dyer

«Gripping and memorable, a definitive account of an American tragedy»

Ed Caesar

«Deep research, gripping writing and a chilling story. This is an incredible book»

Tim Harford, author of How To Make The World Add Up

«In Higginbotham’s deft hands, the human element — sometimes heroic, sometimes cloaked in doublespeak and bluster — shines through the many technical aspects of this story, a constant reminder that every decision was made by people weighing risks versus expediency, their minds distorted by power, money, politics and yes-men. It’s a universal story that transcends time, from Napoleon’s decision to attack Russia to the recent Boeing 737 Max debacle»

Rachel Slade, New York Times

«Both riveting and illuminating»

Roger D. Launius, Times Literary Supplement

«Enthralling . . . Adam Higginbotham's excellent book is a sobering warning of the dangers of what he calls "mankind's overconfidence in his own ingenuity"»

Andrew Crumey, Literary Review

«Challenger will take you to the stars and break your heart at the same time. History may not be the actions of a few ‘Great Men’ but, as Adam Higginbotham relates in gripping detail, it can certainly be shaped by the terrible decisions of a few individuals. Everyone should read this book»

Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire

«Challenger is a remarkable book. It manages to be a whodunit that stretches hundreds of pages, a heart-pounding thriller even though readers already know the ending . . . Our faith in the systems that run our world is really faith in our fellow man—a chilling reality to remember»

Emma Sarappo, Atlantic

«Dramatic . . . The book delivers a compelling, comprehensive history of the disaster that exposed, as Higginbotham writes, how “the nation's smartest minds had unwittingly sent seven men and women to their deaths”»

Andrew Demillo, Independent

«No tragedy is more indelible than the space shuttle Challenger disaster . . . a superb diagnosis of one of NASA’s darkest moments . . . the narrative comes to life in a fresh telling fueled by meticulous detail and exacting prose. While familiar, the story is rendered dreamlike so that readers can’t help but hope, as it unfolds page by page, that somehow the outcome this time will be different»

Christian Davenport, Washington Post

«Adam Higginbotham has written a gripping, eye-opening, moving, and finely detailed history of not just an infamous disaster but a whole generation of the Space Age. Picking up where Tom Wolfe left off, this book stands as the fascinating sequel to The Right Stuff, mixing together science, politics, and space exploration and providing a unique window into the lives of those Americans who have reached for the stars. Even though you know how the story ends, you'll eagerly turn the beautifully written pages wondering what comes next. Challenger is one of the generation's best non-fiction writers working at the top of his game»

Garrett Graff, author of The Only Plane in the Sky and Watergate

«Artfully told . . . refreshingly even-handed . . . it’s the human element that makes it»

Francisco Garcia, i

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