Sunday, September 26, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.,
Online Workshop (Zoom)

Sunday, September 26, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.,
Online Workshop (Zoom)

Presenter: Jeff Shesol is the author of Mercury Rising, most recently, as well as 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

Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books with host Gena Oppenheim live, followed by a Q&A with home audiences. Join us online on Sunday, September 26 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (11: 00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT) with Jeff Shesol as he discusses his book "Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War."

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 perilous time when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the United States to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival—and America was losing.

On February 20, 1962, when John Glenn blasted into orbit aboard Friendship 7, his mission was not only to circle the planet; it was to calm the fears of the free world and renew America’s sense of self-belief. "Mercury Rising" re-creates the tension and excitement of a flight that shifted the momentum of the space race and put the United States on the path to the moon. Drawing on new archival sources, personal interviews, and previously unpublished notes by Glenn himself, "Mercury Rising" reveals how the astronaut’s heroics lifted the nation’s hopes in what Kennedy called the "hour of maximum danger."

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Baker Teacher Leader Center, 319-335-5623, in advance.