Sunday, 13 May 2012


Starman by Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony is an affectionate tribute to Yuri Gagarin; the warts are there (adultery for one) but overall a very positive image come across. What I found interesting is the interviews they managed to get with family and other cosmonauts; the quite open views that were expressed and the criticism of the system fifty years ago. The space race is not that a strong element in this book compared to the consideration of the soviet system (the race to the moon gets relatively little mention). 

I know there are a lot of these space biographies around but this is well written and relatively short. There was not a lot of extra background (this is a feature I like about this book) about his childhood and his family, though there are some stories from his childhood under Nazi occupation. The issues surrounding his death, in my opinion, are handled well and not indulging in the all the conspiracy theories that surround Gagarin's death.

I enjoyed this book and Yuri Gagarin comes out of this book as a hero. It is worth reading and another book to accompany this I would also recommend is Two sides of the Moon by David Scott and Alexi Leonov.

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