The Sputnik Program

(Created by Thomas Alcorn, History 135, August 2007)

Assignment    Background    Chronology    Further Reading    Links


The Sputnik Challenge by Robert A. Divine
Published by Oxford University Press, USA (Hardcover, March 25, 1993)
ISBN-10: 0195050088
In this book, Divine analyzes President Dwight Eisenhower's moderate, balanced response to the Sputnik crisis.

Sputnik and the Soviet Space Challenge by Asif A. Siddiqi
Published by Tandem Library (Hardcover, February 2003)
ISBN-10: 061392049X
In this book, Siddiqi covers the beginning of the Space Race from the Soviet point of view. In addition to the technical details of the space program, this book also delves into the personalities involved.

Sputnik: The Shock of the Century by Paul Dickson
Published by Thorndike Press (Large Print Edition, January 2002)
ISBN-10: 078389760X
In this book, Dickson chronicles the history of rocket research, including Nazi successes during WWII, after which American and Soviet troops vied to seize German scientists and hardware. Dickson examines the quarreling between the services for control of the space program and exposes the reasons for the lag in American research.

Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower: A Memoir of the First Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology by James R. Killian
Published by The MIT Press (Paperback, May 4, 1982)
ISBN-10: 0262610353
These are the memoirs of James R. Killian who, as the title points out, was the first Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. Killian, President of MIT at the time of the Sputnik launch, was tapped for this job, and formulated the national response to the Soviet space threat.

Brainpower for the Cold War: The Sputnik Crisis and National Defense Education Act of 1958 by Barbara Barksdale Clowse
Published by Greenwood Press (Hardcover, December 21, 1981) Out of Print!
ISBN-10: 0313228132
One of the few books that deal with the National Defense Education Act, this one chronicles the debate in the White House and in Congress over the necessity of federal support of higher education.

Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program: Vol. I: Organizing for Exploration by John M. Logsdon
Published by Diane Publishing (Paperback, 1995)
ISBN-10: 0756735807
This volume includes more than 200 key documents from the civil space program on the development of the space age .

It Came from Outer Space: Everyday Products and Ideas from the Space Program by Marjolijn Bijlefeld and Robert Burke
Published by Greenwood Press (Hardcover, August 30, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0313322228
This volume contains 67 entries on products and technologies that have been either developed or improved upon because of space-related research and technology development.

Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization by Robert Zubrin
Published by Tarcher (Paperback, August 3, 2000)
ISBN-10: 1585420360
With an engineering background, Zubrin breaks his optimistically forward thinking book down into three sections: the first covers near-term projects in Earth orbit, specializing in commercial possibilities. The second part takes on the Moon, Mars, and the outer solar system. The third adopts an optimistic view of interstellar travel and extraterrestrial life.


This page is copyright © 2007, C.T. Evans and T. Alcorn.
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu