A Reluctant Icon
Letters to Neil Armstrong
400 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Artfully curated by James R. Hansen, A Reluctant Icon: Letters to Neil Armstrong is a companion volume to Dear Neil Armstrong: Letters to the First Man from All Mankind, collecting hundreds more letters Armstrong received after first stepping on the moon until his death in 2012. Providing context and commentary, Hansen has assembled the letters by the following themes: religion and belief; anger, disappointment, and disillusionment; quacks, conspiracy theorists, and ufologists; fellow astronauts and the world of flight; the corporate world; celebrities, stars, and notables; and last messages.
Taken together, both collections provide fascinating insights into the world of an iconic hero who took that first giant leap onto lunar soil willingly and thereby stepped into the public eye with reluctance. Space enthusiasts, historians, and lovers of all things related to flight will not want to miss this book.
1. RELIGION AND BELIEF
2. ANGER, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND DISILLUSIONMENT
3. QUACKS, CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, AND UFOLOGISTS
4. FELLOW ASTRONAUTS AND THE WORLD OF FLIGHT
5. THE CORPORATE WORLD
6. CELEBRITIES, STARS, AND NOTABLES
7. LETTERS FROM A GRIEVING WORLD
"A Reluctant Icon is overall very enjoyable. The conversational tone of the letters makes the book a page-turner that is hard to put down. Highly recommended!" —National Space Society
"Hansen's latest contribution to Armstrong scholarship, [and] lives up to its title; it shows a First Man who, while being unfailingly modest and polite, is more at ease turning down public appearances and entreaties to reveal more about his personal beliefs and peccadilloes than making splashy celebrity cameos. In turn, the less-than-revealing Armstrong reveals a lot about his personality, and his values— even by his silence. This latest volume of letters, perhaps even more than the first volume, reveals the incredible burden of fame Armstrong was forced to endure following Apollo 11. In A Reluctant Icon, here we see a truly complete account of Armstrong's life— and death." —National Space Society
"Neil Armstrong may not have always been the person we wanted him to be after Apollo 11. But he owed us nothing. He didn't let us down. Instead, judging by so many of the letters in this book, it was we who let him down." —Francis French
"Hansen's two volumes of letters is an excellent collection of primary source material from the public on a man who was known to have been intensely private." —Quest