New York Times best-selling author and Perrysburg High School graduate Douglas Brinkley will speak about his most-recent best-selling book, American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race on Wednesday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Commodore Building Beck Auditorium located at 140 East Indiana Avenue in Perrysburg, Oh.
The event is free to the public and is hosted by the Way Public Library Foundation and Friends. Parking will be available street-side near the Commodore Building and across the street at the Way Public Library.
American Moonshot was released on April 2 and achieved the New York Times bestsellers list the first week of publication. The book commemorates the 50th anniversary of fellow Buckeye Neil Armstrong’s moon-walk in 1969 and captures the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects. American Moonshot showcases the brilliant men and women who made this vision a reality, the technology that enabled the spacecraft to travel beyond Earth’s orbit to the moon and returned safely, and the geopolitical tensions that ignited John F. Kennedy’s audacious post-election dream of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
At the center of this story is Kennedy himself. As Brinkley writes, Kennedy was intimately involved in the creation of the space program and he made it a top priority of his New Frontier agenda. Featuring a cast of iconic and sometimes controversial figures, such as rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn, and space booster Lyndon Johnson, American Moonshot is a vivid, enthralling chronicle of one of the nation’s most thrilling, hopeful, and turbulent eras. This is living history at its finest—but also an homage to scientific ingenuity, engineering genius, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit.
Douglas Brinkley is recognized as one of our nation’s foremost presidential historians. He is CNN’s Presidential Historian and was awarded the distinction of being the New York Historical Society’s first-ever Presidential Scholar-in-Residence. As Contributing Editor (History) for Vanity Fair he regularly writes essays on U.S. presidential history. He is a member of Council on Foreign Relations, the Society of American Historians, and the James Madison Council of Library of Congress.
In 2016 Brinkley published Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America. This environmental history led Brinkley to win the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Heritage Award for his lifetime work in conservation.
In 2017 he won the Grammy Award for “Best Large Ensemble” for his work with jazz at Lincoln Center for “Presidential Suite.” Brinkley co-wrote in 2017 with the former president’s nephew Stephen Kennedy Smith JFK: A Vision for America—the official book for JFK’s birthday centennial. He is the biographer of recent Nobel Prize winner for literature Bob Dylan.
Also in 2017 Brinkley co-edited the two-volume The Nixon Tapes for Houghton Mifflin. For this he won the academic Arthur S. Link-Warren F. Kuehl Prize for primary source/documentary focus by the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.
Brinkley is a regular essay contributor to the New York Times Book Review writing in just the past year reflections on Larry McMurtry, Henry David Thoreau, Edward Abbey, and others.