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Moon - Brunner, Bernd - Yale University Press
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Moon

A Brief History

  • Bernd Brunner
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Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Astronautics and Astronomy category.

Read the New York Times article

See the New York Times slideshow

Werewolves and Wernher von Braun, Stonehenge and the sex lives of sea corals, aboriginal myths, and an Anglican bishop: In his new book, Moon, Bernd Brunner weaves variegated information into an enchanting glimpse of Earth’s closest celestial neighbor, whose mere presence inspires us to wonder what might be “out there.”

Going beyond the discoveries of contemporary science, Brunner presents an unusual cultural assessment of our complex relationship with Earth’s lifeless, rocky satellite. As well as offering an engaging perspective on such age-old questions as “What would Earth be like without the moon?” Brunner surveys the moon’s mythical and religious significance and provokes existential soul-searching through a lunar lens, inquiring, “Forty years ago, the first man put his footprint on the moon. Will we continue to use it as the screen onto which we cast our hopes and fears?”

Drawing on materials from different cultures and epochs, Brunner walks readers down a moonlit path illuminated by more than seventy-five vintage photographs and illustrations. From scientific discussions of the moon’s origins and its “chronobiological” effects on the mating and feeding habits of animals to an illuminating interpretation of Bishop Francis Godwin’s 1638 novel The Man in the Moone, Brunner’s ingenious and interdisciplinary explorations recast a familiar object in an entirely original and unforgettable light and will change the way we view the nighttime sky.

Bernd Brunner is a freelance writer. He is the author of other successful works intersecting history, science, and literature, including Bears and The Ocean at Home.

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