One interesting thing the author accomplishes in the chapter prior to the Epilog is to demonstrate a common bond between biology and astrophysics. Astrophysicists are accustomed to observing and theorizing about vast distances and time spans. De Queiroz expresses a similar perspective in his rumination about the vast time spans and ocuurrences that need to be comprehended when considering how life has developed and spread. That he expresses some regret (my interpretation) that we will never know with certainty when, specifically, monkey ancestors actually travelled great distances to populate dispersed locations had me thinking, “Welcome to the real world. Looks like we’re just going to have to figure it out.”
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I can’t help but wonder when reading about these exciting times what it might have been like had the U.S. and Soviet Union cooperated in space exploration earlier on. Would the combined resources have resulted in greater joint accomplishments like a moon base or a landing on Mars? Or was the competition and secrecy effective in pushing both sides ahead?
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
This book is the perfect antidote for anyone who seriously believes that politics back then was any different from today. Lincoln faced incredible dissension and disagreement within his own party and his own cabinet. This makes Gates’ recent revelations about his relationship with the Obama Administration pale by comparison.
I’m especially fond of history books that not only explain events but help the reader understand the people involved and how they and events were impacted by history, culture, personal relationships, and where appropriate, by technology
I’ve always been fascinated by “big science” projects and how they were managed. Often there’s a confluence of private and public sector, academia, and military; the nuclear arms race as presented here is certainly not an exception.
This book describes what it was like to bomb Japanese cities via B-29 raids conducted by the U.S. during 1944 and 1945. Most of the action is from the American perspective and takes place on the air-base islands off Japan from which most raids were launched (chiefly Tinian and Saipan), in the air while over water, or over Japan itself
I read a lot of history books where you get caught up in the sweep of big ideas, big movements, and larger-than-life historical figures. In THUNDER BELOW we have a captain, his crew, and the ship, doing their job while trying to stay alive. It’s a keeper.