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Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War

June 9, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT


Join OLLI for an online discussion with presidential historian and speechwriter Jeff Shesol on his new book, one of the Washington Post‘s “20 books to read this summer.”

Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 7pm Eastern

Online via Zoom 

Free & Online; Click Here to Register

A riveting history of the epic orbital flight that put America back into the space race.

If the United States couldn’t catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War— a moment when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the US to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival— and America was losing.

When John Glenn blasted into orbit on February 20, 1962, his mission was greater than circling Earth; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief. Mercury Rising re- creates the sense of tension to a flight that riveted the world. Drawing on new sources, interviews, and Glenn’s personal notes, Mercury Rising shows how the astronaut’s heroics lifted the nation’s hopes in what Kennedy called the “hour of maximum danger.”

“Shesol is a terrific storyteller.” – The Boston Globe

“Entertaining and deeply researched…readers will savor the hair-raising ride.”
― Publishers Weekly

Jeff Shesol is is the author of Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court and  Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and the Feud That Defined a Decade, both selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He is a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and is a founding partner of West Wing Writers. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and more.

Free & Online; Click Here to Register

In Partnership with Berkshire Gas


June 9, 2021
8:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
View Organizer Website

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