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The Moon – an owners’ workshop manual

November 8, 2016

‘Moon: from 4.5 billion years ago to the present’ by David M. Harland (2016)

moon-workshopHaynes Owners’ Workshop Manuals are reputable, usually covering vehicles. This makes one about the Moon eye-catching. It does not disappoint. It is not just comprehensive, but easy to read. Even its graphics of such things as lunar movement and related mechanics are understandable.

In reviewing the development of our understanding of the Moon, Harland touches on its huge influence in human culture. We see the history of idea development; the overlap between the history of astronomy, technology, science and religion; the distinction between science and ideology; and the social context of these.

This book should appeal to a wide range of people, from casual readers to students of areas such as astronomy; geology; the history, philosophy and sociology of science (they inseparably overlap); and more. For those who grew up with the ‘space race’ and lunar exploration, this area is well covered, right up to recent findings.

There appear to be some errors from the editing phase (e.g. p.66), but otherwise the only criticisms I might have are that it lacks an index – which is ironic, as Haynes car manuals have indexes – and a list of further reading. However, in the age of the internet, neither reduces the information value of this book.  Find it in the library here.

reviewed by Steve

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