This New Ocean

William E. Burrows, Author, Burrows, Author
William E. Burrows, Author, Burrows, Author Random House (NY) $34.95 (912p) ISBN 978-0-679-44521-0
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
""The cold war was over. The great space race was over. And the first space age was over, too."" With these simple sentences, written in the past tense, Burrows (Deep Black; Exploring Space, etc.), director of NYU's Science and Environmental Reporting Program, connects with Gen-X readers, to whom space exploration has always been part of history; with pre-baby boomers, who have seen the full unfolding of humanity's great leap outward in their lifetimes; and with everyone in between. Burrows's richly documented book tells the story of how simple earthlings--fallible creatures living under imperfect political systems--transcended foibles, corruption, depravity and flawed machines to discover other worlds and, what is more important, their own. For the space enthusiast, Burrows offers a complete, authoritative history of the technology that allowed us to explore space and the people who created and managed that technology. For those who struggle to understand the nature of humanity, it offers new insights into old paradoxes. For those who ask where we are going, it offers hope. Although we have the potential to destroy our species and our planet, the second space age now beginning, Burrows makes clear, will be marked by our arrival and survival in other worlds. The legacy of the first space age, as expressed through his remarkable book, is the knowledge that our species is capable of both outliving our planet and destroying it. The legacy of the second will be the choices we make based on that knowledge. We are voyagers embarking on yet another ""new ocean""; Burrows provides invaluable lessons to help us navigate the sea of stars. Sixteen pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Oct.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!