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Short Synopsis
Neil M. Maher shows how NASA's celestial aspirations were tethered to terrestrial concerns of the time: the civil rights struggle, the antiwar movement, environmentalism, feminism, and the culture wars.

Full Synopsis
The summer of 1969 saw astronauts land on the moon for the first time and hippie hordes descend on Woodstock for a legendary music festival. For Neil M. Maher, the conjunction of these two era-defining events is not entirely coincidental.

With its lavishly funded mandate to send a man to the moon, Apollo became a litmus test in the 1960s culture wars. Many people believed it would reinvigorate a country that had lost its way, while for others it represented a colossal waste of resources needed to solve pressing problems at home. Yet Maher also discovers synergies between the space program and political movements of the era. Photographs of "Whole Earth" as a bright blue marble heightened environmental awareness, while NASA's space technology allowed scientists to track ecological changes globally. The space agency's exclusively male personnel sparked feminist debates about opportunities for women. Activists pressured NASA to apply its technical know-how to ending the Vietnam War and helping African Americans by reducing energy costs in urban housing projects.

Against a backdrop of Saturn V moonshots and Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind, Apollo in the Age of Aquarius brings the cultural politics of the space race back down to planet Earth.

"A new and thought-provoking history. . . . Anyone interested in the space race, the turbulent social politics of the 1960s, and changing ideas about nature and the environment should read this book." ---Gretchen Heefner, author of The Missile Next Door

"A major work from a fine writer. Maher is the first to explore how the space race intersected with the era’s political, social, and cultural movements." ---Adam Rome, author of The Genius of Earth Day

"Neil Maher offers an outstandingly novel work on the conflicting political and cultural currents that swirled around NASA in the 1960s and 1970s." ---John Krige, author of Sharing Knowledge, Shaping Europe

"NASA and Woodstock may now seem polarized, but in this illuminating, original chronicle, historian Neil Maher traces multiple crosscurrents between them." ---Barbara Kiser, Nature

Apollo in the Age of Aquarius

Author Neil M. Maher

Narrated by L.J. Ganser

Publication date Jun 27, 2017

Running time 11 hrs

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