A Smile that Changed the World?
The story of the World’s first spaceman’s five days in the UK 11th – 15th July 1961
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London Society Journal “This fascinating and well-researched book recounts the legendary Soviet cosmonaut’s visit to the UK in the summer of 1961 at the height of the Cold War, setting it within the context of scientific advance, the political climate in the UK, and Gagarin’s relationship with his political masters in Russia. A timeline is included, as well as much new information from personal interviews with those who met Gagarin, by all accounts a personally charming man who found himself in a difficult and charged political situation.”
Amazon.co.uk “This is a long overdue book. The memories of the visit to Manchester are great, neighbours of mine were taken by their mother to see Gagarin and that started a wonderful conversation ‘down memory lane’. I am not sure why it has to be ‘London and Manchester’ – better to be Manchester and London. Manchester asked him over, London did not quite know what to do with him as they were in the middle of a cold war with Russia. To the workers over there and here, they were workers and amazed by what Gagarin did…..we had nothing like it here. I think it’s a great book.”
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.”