From archival evidence and interviews with space agency officials, an in-depth investigation into the relationship between the performance of the American space program and NASA's organizational culture.
W. Henry Lambright is a professor of political science and public administration at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
James E. Webb was not a household name during the 1960s Apollo moon program, as were many of the astronauts. But as NASA administrator from 1961 to 1968, he provided the leadership that steered the fledgling space agency on a course to the moon, and he is generally acknowledged as being the standard by which subsequent NASA administrators are judged. Lambright (political science and public administration, Syracuse Univ.) examines Webb's career from his stint as budget bureau director and under secretary of state during the Truman administration, to his work in private industry, to his appointment by JFK as NASA head, a post he accepted reluctantly but in which he came into his own as a manager par excellence. Focusing on Webb's administrative skills, Lambright makes the case that the United States beat the Russians to the moon largely because "we out-managed them." While this book leaves the reader wishing for a proper biography that would reveal more of the man behind one of the greatest technological achievements of the century, it is still highly recommended for academic and large public libraries as a thoroughgoing account of Webb's achievements.‘Thomas J. Frieling, Bainbridge Coll., Ga.
The reputation of James Webb is hostage to Apollo. He, more than any other single individual, made Apollo happen... This fine biography will keep his memory warm. * Science *