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The Moon Reviews

The Moon by Oliver Morton

The Moon: A History for the Future

Oliver Morton

4.27 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 16 May 2019
ISBN: 9781788162548

In this short but wide-ranging book, Oliver Morton explores the history and future of humankind's relationship with the Moon. A counterpoint in the sky, it has shaped our understanding of the Earth from Galileo to Apollo. Its gentle light has spoken of love and loneliness; its battered surface of death and the cosmic.

1 Prize for The Moon

Radio 4
Selection: Book of the Week

An intimate and profound portrait of the Moon. Ranging across science, art and mythology, writer Oliver Morton explores the different spaces that Earth’s closest neighbour occupies in our lives and lays out the history and future of our relationship with the Moon.


4 stars out of 5
5 Jun 2019

"He is an author hugely qualified to make the case for the moon"

Morton does a great job of recovering the excitement – and, for their time, astonishing technical accomplishments – of the various Apollo missions. He is plainly of that post-1970s generation defined as “orphans of Apollo”: those whose hopes of an extra-terrestrial future were dashed by the faltering nature of the various space programmes.

  • The TimesBook of the Year
4 stars out of 5
Gerard DeGroot
18 May 2019

"There’s no good reason to return, but the race is on again"

I have read almost everything written about the lunar missions, yet I have never encountered a book that captures so perfectly and so lyrically the ridiculous power that the moon holds over human sensibility. This is a beautiful book about Luna — a “Moon of many stories, Moon as might be and Moon as always was, Moon longed for and Moon happened upon”. It exposes the magnificent desolation of the lunar quest, yet still captures the beguiling hold that the moon has over all of us. Well, most of us. Not me.

4 stars out of 5
James McConnachie
12 May 2019

"an out-of-this-world read"

Morton is a high-octane British science journalist, and every chapter is littered with material that strikes, amazes or haunts... Only one chapter is explicitly about the Apollo missions, but it is superb. And original: instead of telling the same old story about Neil Armstrong, the Eagle landing, and so on, Morton spot-focuses... It should be clear that this is an unusually thoughtful and well-written science book. It is almost lyrical... [T]his is a book filled not just with a lifetime’s knowledge of its subject but with a lifetime’s suppressed excitement. Only four of the people who have walked on the moon are still alive, Morton reminds us. They will be “heavily outnumbered”, he predicts, by those who will soon follow.