First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong
Авторы: James R. Hansen
Simon & Schuster Paperbacks
Описание: If Neil Armstrong were still alive today, how would he want me to preface this new edition of his biography, coming out as it is on the eve of Apollo 11’s fiftieth anniversary? I know exactly what he would say to me if I asked him that question: “Jim, it is your book. You are the author, not me. You should open the book in the way you find most appropriate.”
That was pure Neil Armstrong. Once he had finally agreed to cooperate in my writing of his life story—and it took nearly three years, from 1999 into 2002, for me to secure that agreement—Neil wanted the book to be an independent, serious biography. He sat with me for fifty-five hours of interviews and agreed to read and comment on every draft chapter. But not once did he try to change or even influence my analysis or interpretation. Accordingly, he never autographed the published book, not for anyone. It was not his book, he told people: it was Jim’s. I once asked him if he would sign a copy for each of my two children. He said he would think about it. I didn’t ask him twice and he never brought up the subject again. It was just not his book to sign. That, too, was pure Neil.
So, how do I preface this fiftieth anniversary edition?