Click picture to see full Cover of 1950s Rocketman1950s "Rocketman" TV
Cadets,Rangers,and Junior Space Men
edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Table of Contents ...|... Ordering information

If you have ever tried to explain your fascination with those crazy space shows of the 1950s to your children or grandchildren, then "1950s Rocketman" is your book. Rocketman provides a much better reflection of the Space TV shows of the 1950s and their influence on our culture than any past efforts. An excellent researched book that will be, along with Jean-Noel's SPACE PATROL book, a great asset to the history of the 1950s space phenomenon. If furniture from the 1950s can be referred to as "Mid-Century Modern" then the early TV shows about space travel can only be called "Mid-Century's Future's Past", a past history of future concepts presented in the1950s. Rocketman captures the "Mid-Century's Future's Past" through well researched essays written with a fan's heart.

Several of the contributors will be familiar to fans; Mark Young who did a fantastic job as co author of "Blast Off !!", Jean-Noel who always does a good job, communication researchers, and media historians who present a scholarly look into the era that presented a bright and exciting future in mid-century America.

The Space Race began in the early 1950s with the advent of Tom Corbett, Space Patrol, Captain Video and NOT NASA's later start in 1958. Rocketman pays homage to those who dreamed the dream of space travel before the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. The dedication clearly indicates the book's goal:

"To all those who looked
at fishbowls and saw space helmets
at cable reels, and saw rocket controls
at muffler pipes, and saw ray guns
at the stars, and saw the future."

The forward by Henry Jenkins establishes the background of early TV and the beginnings of the Rocketman saga. The introduction by the editors gives an overview of the books 4 main essay sections as well as providing the vision and tone of the book: "focusing on the roles, influences, relationships that existed between televised rocketmen and their fans".

The book contains 14 fact filled, enjoyable essays that provide insights into what influenced a generation and continues to influence our culture over the 6 decades since we last watched our heroes blast off into space. The essay's provide details and facts that will require several readings to fully appreciate the depth of research in them. Don't let the 294 page count fool you, the book is "dense" with information, requiring additional reading from the footnotes and references made throughout the essays. Be prepared to spend time following these information trails and discovering new information about that special time in our childhood as a 1950s Rocketman. Check out the Table of Contents on the Rocketman website for some very interesting essays.

Every school, college and media library should include Rocketman on their shelves as well as fans of the 1950s space opera. It captures the dreams and desires of a generation that went into space long before the rest of the world gave space flight a serious thought.

Table of Contents - Ordering Information:

Palgrave Macmillan, September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-230-37731-8, ISBN10: 0-230-37731-9,
6.000 x 9.250 inches, 294 pages, 66 b/w photos, 4 b/w tables, - $90.00
1950s Rocketman Webpage:
Table of Contents (MacMillan webpage) $76.50 - Free postage.

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