Professor Zaheer Baber has recently published a review in the Times Literary Supplement. Professor Baber is a faculty member at the University of Toronto, Mississauga with expertise in the sociology of science and technology. In this piece, Professor Baber reviewed Apollo in the Age of Aquarius, by Neil M. Maher, a book he described as one that “succeeds admirably in weaving a seamless web of technological, economic, political, social and cultural strands and their multiple, intended and unintended consequences.”
The article is available online at the TLS site. We have posted a short excerpt below.
Whitey on the moon
On the hot and humid afternoon of July 15, 1969, hundreds of excited spectators and media crew had crowded around the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to witness the launch of Apollo 11 the next day. While the head of NASA, Thomas O. Paine, was delighted at the large turnout and media attention, what he did not expect was an organized protest. Armed with four mules hitched to two rickety wagons (meant to symbolize the impoverished rural south), the Revd Ralph Abernathy, the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the successor to Martin Luther King, led a group of twenty-five poor black American families to a meeting with the NASA chief. Under the glare of the national and international media, Abernathy told the NASA administrator that he and his fellow protestors were not against the “man on the moon” mission as such. Rather, their protest was directed against a “distorted sense of national priorities . . . against the tragic and inexcusable gulf that exists between America’s technological abilities and our social injustices”…