The Moon (Hardcover)

A History for the Future (Economist Books)

By Oliver Morton, The Economist

The Economist, 9781541774322, 352pp.

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An intimate portrait of the Earth's closest neighbor--the Moon--that explores the history and future of humankind's relationship with it

Every generation has looked towards the heavens and wondered at the beauty of the Moon. Fifty years ago, a few Americans became the first to do the reverse---and Earth-bound audiences shared their view of their own planet hanging in the sky instead.

In this short but wide-ranging book, Oliver Morton explores the history and future of humankind's relationship with the Moon from the earliest astronomers such as van Eyck and Galileo through the first space flights and anticipating next phase of our interaction with the Moon, as a portal and stepping stone to further space exploration. The Moon's gentle light has spoken of love and loneliness; its battered surface of death and the cosmic. For some, it is a future on which humankind has turned its back. For others, an adventure yet to begin.

Advanced technologies, new ambitions and old dreams mean that men, women and robots now seem certain to return to the Moon. What will they learn there about the universe, the Earth-and themselves? And, this time, will they stay?

About the Author

Oliver Morton has written about space for decades in publications ranging for the Economist to Nature to Prospect to the New Yorker. Asteroid 10716 olivermorton is named after him.

Praise For The Moon: A History for the Future (Economist Books)

"The Moon is such a fascinating object in human history. From its
dominance in our neighboring sphere, to its romantic impetus, to its symbol of
national stature, to its position as a mere stepping stone to greater exploits,
the Moon has been omnipresent in the human sky. And no book about the Moon that
I've ever read captures the multifaceted nature of the Moon as does Oliver
Morton's The Moon. As impressive as the subject matter he deals with is
the quality of Oliver Morton's writing. Whether describing the clockwork of the
lunar cycle or the history of the Moon's influence in human affairs, Morton's
writing is clear, incredibly informative, and flows like poetry. A truly
delightful and informative read."—Rusty Schweickart, lunar module pilot, Apollo IX

"A multidisciplinary triumph, combining a deep understanding of science
fiction and myth with accurate, up-to-date lunar science and space technology."—David Morrison, founding director, NASA Lunar Science Institute

"Beautifully written: evocative, witty, and truly informative. I thought
I knew a lot about the Moon but I nonetheless learned all sorts of fascinating
new things, and thoroughly enjoyed myself doing so. Combining science and
science fiction is not easy and Oliver Morton manages it seamlessly and
brilliantly! Superb."—Adam Roberts, author of The Palgrave History of Science Fiction and The Thing Itself

Moon, a spherical bit of unchanging inanimate rock, nonetheless captivates us
with its romance and its beauty. Its tantalizing almost deceptive proximity
makes it also a destination, both a past one and a promising one for the
future. In this poetically written and informative book, Oliver Morton takes us
through all aspects of this very familiar but very foreign territory, which has
inspired stories and study for decades. What a remarkable achievement and one
well worth exploring.—Lisa Randall, Frank B. Baird Professor of Science, Harvard University

"A hymn to the Moon. I can't think of a wiser, more eloquent or
better-informed companion for a journey around our natural satellite than Oliver
Morton, whose poetic prose displays a breadth of knowledge not often found in
science writing."—Roger Highfield, director of external affairs, the Science Museum Group

"An engaging, multifaceted view of the moon... an account that is not only rich in facts, but leavened with fiction, for the author seems to have read widely in the literature of science fiction to show the interest, ideas, and fantasies people have had about our nearest companion in the solar system... Accessible, informative, and entertaining-first-rate popular science reporting."—Kirkus (starred review)