Home / Arts / Books / Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige (Cornell University Press), by Yanek Mieczkowski
Friday, April 12, 2013

Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige (Cornell University Press), by Yanek Mieczkowski

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America's Chicken Little pundits and politicians cried "The sky is falling!" when the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. President Eisenhower, however, maintained an eerie calm that infuriated columnists and congressmen alike. Historian Yanek Mieczkowski shows that Eisenhower's response was correct in the long term, if politically shortsighted. Ike realized that Sputnik was of no military value, that the weak Soviet economy strained to produce an occasional marvel and that the U.S. would soon overtake the USSR. While others warned of calamity, Eisenhower calmly laid the foundation for NASA and the Apollo moon landing. (David Luhrssen)

 

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