It has been called the single most historic event of the 20th century: On July 20, 1969, after a decade of tests and training, supported by a staff of 400,000 engineers and scientists, and with a budget of billions, the most powerful rocket ever launched brought Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon.
Nobody captured the men, the mood, and the machinery like Norman Mailer, hired by LIFE magazine to cover the mission in a dazzling reportage he later enhanced into the brilliantly crafted book, Of a Fire on the Moon.
Rediscover this epoch-making event with TASCHEN’s adaptation of Mailer’s account, now in our popular Reader’s Edition so you can really curl up and travel not just back in time, but into outer space. The text is accompanied by hundreds of photographs from the NASA vaults, the archives of LIFE, and other leading magazines of the day, documenting the development of the agency and the mission, life inside the command module and on the moon’s surface, as well as the world’s jubilant reaction to the landing.
Captions by leading Apollo 11 experts explain the history and science behind the images, citing the mission log, publications of the day, and postflight astronaut interviews, while an evocative introduction by Colum McCann celebrates Mailer’s incomparable skill at transforming “the science of space…the weight of history…the breadth of mythology” into prose.
Norman Mailer (1923–2007) was one of the 20th century’s greatest and most influential writers, as well as one of America’s most renowned and controversial literary figures. The best-selling author of a dozen novels and 20 works of nonfiction, he also wrote stage plays, screenplays, television miniseries, hundreds of essays, two books of poetry, and a collection of short stories. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he lived in Brooklyn, New York, and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
The contributing author
Colum McCann is the author of seven books, including Let the Great World Spin. He has written for The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, The Times (London), The Irish Times, and La República.
About the series
Bibliotheca Universalis — Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe at an unbeatable, democratic price!
Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, the name TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible, open-minded publishing. Bibliotheca Universalis brings together nearly 100 of our all-time favorite titles in a neat new format so you can curate your own affordable library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia.
Bookworm’s delight — never bore, always excite!