September 2009 Biographies

 Magnificent Desolation by Buzz Aldrin with Keith Abraham

Forty years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second human, minutes after Neil Armstrong, to set foot on a celestial body other than the Earth. The event remains one of mankind’s greatest achievements and was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history. In the years since, millions more have had their Earth-centric perspective unalterably changed by the iconic photograph of Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space behind him and his fellow explorer and the Eagle reflected in his visor. Describing the alien world he was walking upon, he uttered the words “magnificent desolation.” And as the astronauts later sat in the Eagle, waiting to begin their journey back home, knowing that they were doomed unless every system and part on board worked flawlessly, it was Aldrin who responded to Mission Control’s clearance to take off with the quip, “Roger. Understand. We’re number one on the runway.” The flight of Apollo 11 made Aldrin one of the most famous persons on our planet, yet few people know the rest of this true American hero’s story. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin not only gives us a harrowing first-person account of the lunar landing that came within seconds of failure and the ultimate insider’s view of life as one of the superstars of America’s space program, he also opens up with remarkable candor about his more personal trials – and eventual triumphs – back on Earth. From the glory of being part of the mission that fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon before the decade was out, Aldrin returned home to an Air Force career stripped of purpose or direction, other than as a public relations tool that NASA put to relentless use in a seemingly nonstop world tour. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged – the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him. He burned through two marriages, his Air Force career came to an inglorious end, and he found himself selling cars for a living when he wasn’t drunkenly wrecking them. Redemption came when he finally embraced sobriety, gained the love of a woman, Lois, who would become the great joy of his life, and dedicated himself to being a tireless advocate for the future of space exploration – not only as a scientific endeavor but also as a thriving commercial enterprise. These days Buzz Aldrin is enjoying life with an enthusiasm that reminds us how far it is possible for a person to travel, literally and figuratively. As an adventure story, a searing memoir of self-destruction and self-renewal, and as a visionary rallying cry to once again set our course for Mars and beyond, Magnificent Desolation is the thoroughly human story of a genuine hero.

 My Journey with Farrah by Alana Stewart

On May 15, 2009, 9.2 million people tuned in to watch NBC’s documentary special, Farrah’s Story, which featured footage and commentary from her friend, Alana Stewart. Now, for the first time, Alana shares her personal diaries from the three years she has been at her friend’s side as Farrah has bravely battled her devasting illness. This is, ultimately, a story about friendship and Alana writes about such issues as aging, motherhood, and faith-all topics she and Farrah have discussed over the years. Goes beyond the documentary of cancer treatment, delving into the fears, hopes, friendship, and faith of the two friends who met as young models in the 1970s. Includes never-before-seen photographs of Farrah Fawcett and Alana Stewart in a 16-page color insert. Will appeal to the 9.2 million people who watched NBC’s documentary.

front cover of Ruanaidh book Ruanaidh by Art Rooney, Jr. with Roy McHugh

Part memoir, part anecdotal history of Pittsburgh’s North Side, where the author grew up, and part football book, “Ruanaidh” follows to its conclusion the extraordinary life of Art Rooney, Sr. – the Chief. The strange-looking title (pronounced Ru-ah-nee) is the Gaelic word for Rooney. Candid personality portraits of almost everybody in the Chief’s wide orbit are mingled with tales from Art Rooney, Jr’s own high school and college football-playing days, from his time as a failed drama student in New York, from his six months of boot camp training with the Marines, and from his subsequent career as personnel director of his father’s football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
 Bobby and Jackie by C. David Heymann

C. David Heymannis the internationally known author of suchNew York Timesbestselling books asThe Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club; RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy; Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton;andA Woman Named Jackie: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.Three of his works have been made into award-winning NBC-TV miniseries. A three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, he lives and works in Manhattan.

 

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