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Starman by Jamie Doran, Piers Bizony



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Starman by Jamie Doran, Piers Bizony

On April 12 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to leave the Earth's atmosphere and venture into space. An icon of the 20th century, he also became a danger to himself and a threat to the Soviet state. At the age of 34, he was killed in a plane crash. Based on KGB files, restricted documents from Russian space authorities, and interviews with his friends and colleagues, this biography of the Russian cosmonaut reveals a man in turmoil: torn apart by powerful political pressures, fighting a losing battle against alcoholism and rebelling against the cruelties of a corrupt totalitarian regime. 2011 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Gagarin's flight. This new edition of Starman includes a new afterword that celebrates the importance of that momentous expedition and reflects on Gagarin's legacy.


`Starman takes us breakneck speed through Gagarin's strange trajectory...Without books like these to shelter it, history is eroded by propaganda and real heroes fall victim to spin' * New Scientist * `A riveting account of Gagarin's life ... Starman brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the time' * European * `Starman skilfully achieves two distinct objectives: The uncovering of much of the mystery around one of mankind's finest periods, and a full and respectful acknowledgement that its many great heroes, both sung and unsung, were, first and foremost, human beings' * Moscow Times * `Starman was worth writing and is definitely worth reading' * Daily Telegraph *

About the Author

Piers Bizony has written about aerospace and cosmology for a variety of magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been shortlisted for the NASA/Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Writing. He has written several books, the most recent of which, Atom, a tie-in book for a BBC TV series, tells the dramatic story of the rivalries and passions at play during the discovery of quantum physics. Jamie Doran is a multi-award-winning documentary maker. His most recent film, Guinea Pig Kids, exposes the use of New York children in highly toxic experiments funded, in part, by giant pharmaceutical companies. He has worked in television film production for twenty-five years, spending over seven years at BBC Television before establishing an independent television company.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2011


Jamie Doran, Piers Bizony

More books by Jamie Doran, Piers Bizony
Author 'Like for Like'


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


256 pages


Biography: science, technology & medicine
Popular astronomy & space



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