New Book : Yuri Gagarin in Manchester and London

Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester

A Smile that Changed the World?

The story of the World’s first spaceman’s five days in the UK 11th – 15th July 1961

Purchase online here.

The first human spaceflight on 12th April 1961 shocked the West and made cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin the most famous person on the planet.  As one of civilisation’s seminal accomplishments it was borne out of technology designed for weapons of mass destruction.

Following the launch of Sputnik in 1957, the Soviets charged headlong into the exploration of the Moon, Venus and Mars, demonstrating and honing their weapons of war in the name of science.

Three months after his flight, still the only person to have been in Earth orbit, he came to Britain.  Declassified confidential and secret government documents reveal for the first time the frantic diplomatic efforts to achieve a balance between celebrating one of humanity’s greatest achievements whilst grappling with the political dynamite of the unprecedented propaganda opportunity of a Soviet air force Major’s success being celebrated first by the Prime Minister and then by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Chronicled for the first time in these pages are the personal recollections, including never before published pictures, from people in Manchester and London of the impact of this handsome, charismatic cosmonaut who captured the hearts of ordinary working people in Britain. This unassuming diminutive Major with an engaging permanent smile brought hope to a world at the brink of thermonuclear war. For many in Britain during the coldest days of the Cold War, this cosmonaut was the only Russian they would ever see.

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Book reviews on Amazon and  Beyond Moon & Mars blog .

Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester
185 Pages, 27 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9569337-0-6
Paperback £10.00 (+postage) and eBook (iPad and Kindle) £2.50 available from publications@astrotalkuk.org
Download a pdf   of  the page of contents, Chapter 2 “An Uneasy Invitation” and the text above or all three in a zip file.

Comments

  1. Nick Spall says:

    The book provides lots of new research material covering the UK visit of YG in 1961, plus it nicely weaves-in the exciting story of this cosmonaut’s amazing achievemnet. After 50 years the visit still seems a brave thing for the UK government to have taken on , coming as it did at the height of the Cold War when the west and the USSR were only a button-push away from WW3. As author Gurbir points out , YG was keen to emphasise cooperation and peaceful progress in his responses to questions and during his speeches….today , with his diplomatic skills and that winning smile he would probably have run as a candidate for the Russian presidency?!

  2. Michael Cassutt says:

    Gurbir’s book is not only a fascinating record of a little-known moment in Gagarin’s life, but also a readable and well-done introduction to the early days of the Space Race.

  3. Colin Burgess says:

    This unpretentious but highly informative book not only reveals details about the hurriedly-arranged visit of the world’s first spaceman to England, but gives us a fascinating insight into his personality. Gagarin’s own working life began in a foundry, so he found much in common with the people he wanted to meet, and subsequently got to meet. This was a time clouded in international suspicions, when the Soviet Union was regarded as the philosophical antithesis of the Western world, and yet this remarkably modest and simple man charmed everyone he met with his warm smile and friendly manner. His visit took place in less than a week, and yet this was a truly extraordinary and largely forgotten event that needed to be recorded, and has finally been accomplished in this fine book.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Colin Burgess October 25, 2011. This unpretentious but highly informative book not only reveals details about the hurriedly-arranged visit of the world’s first spaceman to England, but gives us a fascinating insight into his personality. Gagarin’s own working life began in a foundry, so he found much in common with the people he wanted to meet, and subsequently got to meet. This was a time clouded in international suspicions, when the Soviet Union was regarded as the philosophical antithesis of the Western world, and yet this remarkably modest and simple man charmed everyone he met with his warm smile and friendly manner. His visit took place in less than a week, and yet this was a truly extraordinary and largely forgotten event that needed to be recorded, and has finally been accomplished in this fine book.” Filed Under: Astronomy online […]

  2. […] Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester 185 Pages, 27 Illustrations ISBN 978-0-9569337-0-6 Paperback £10.00 (+postage) and eBook (iPad and Kindle) £2.50 available from publications@astrotalkuk.org Download a pdf   of  the page of contents, Chapter 2 “An Uneasy Invitation” and the text above or all three in a zip file. Episode 46 Yuri Gagarin in Manchester and London Play Now | Play in Popup | Download podPressShowHidePlayer('1', 'http://www.astrotalkuk.org/wp-content/uploads/episode46.mp3', 290, 24, 'false', 'http://astrotalkuk.org/wp-content/plugins/podpress/images/vpreview_center.png', 'Episode 46 Yuri Gagarin in Manchester and London', 'info@astrotalkuk.org'); […]

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