Whitey on the Moon: Race, Politics, and the death of the U.S. Space Program, 1958-1972 by Paul Kersey
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Overview: The question of what happened to NASA after the moon landing comes up often, especially in the relatively recent context of the closure of the shuttle program and the privatization of space. This book, Whitey On the Moon, attempts to answer that by going through the historical record.
The answer is that the agency was a persistent target of civil rights activism from the very beginning. Apparently, even President Kennedy attempted to smooth the way for a black pilot named Ed Dwight to join the moon landing mission despite a lack of qualifications, with the motive being to sway the black community and solidify their loyalty to the Democratic party. By the early 1970s, public opinion had re-oriented against the space agency, arguing that it in particular needed to have greater racial and gender diversity, but also that the money spent on ‘moon shots’ would be better off spent on domestic welfare.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History