Historian Douglas Brinkley to speak at UF

Marking the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing in 1969, historian Douglas Brinkley will speak at the University of Florida on April 19 on his new book, American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.

The perennial New York Times best-selling author and CNN presidential historian will speak at Pugh Hall, MacKay Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Friday April 19, followed by a book sale and signing. Extra parking will be available at both the UF infirmary and Murphree Hall. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities; the Gus Burns Memorial Fund of the Department of History; and the Department of Journalism.

On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy announced an astonishing goal: to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In American Moonshot, Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in human history. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural and scientific factors that fueled the birth of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Drawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures key to America’s success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life in a vivid chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful and turbulent eras in the nation’s history. American Moonshot is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity and the boundless American spirit.

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Audubon. His book Cronkite won the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism and was a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year. The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He is the author of numerous other books, including The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America and Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America.

Cynthia Barnett March 25, 2019