The Man Who Knew The Way to The Moon (How’s This Book?)

Written By: Todd Zwilich
Narrated By: Todd Zwilich, Angelo Di Loreto
Length: 3 Hours, 32 Minutes
Release Date: July 4th, 2019
Audible Original
Link to Purchase

Mankind has achieved numerous marvels across the millennia. We have overcome impossible odds to survive, explored almost every corner of our home planet, and we’ve reached scientific discoveries that once would have been considered fiction. Humanity lives in a technological age in which total strangers could connect with one another across the globe without having to leave the comfort of their homes. It is a marvelous, beautiful thing.

But there is one achievement that stands above all others. One piece of history that towers over everything else. And chances are, you already know what I’m talking about. I am, of course, referring to the first moon landing of 1969. Apollo 11.

This book, ‘The Man Who Knew The Way to The Moon’, weaves the tale of a man instrumental to the moon landing’s success: John C. Houbolt. It details the struggles he had to overcome before, during, and after the first moon landing. It is a fascinating piece of history. One that you need to know about if you’re fascinated by the first moon landing.

As I am. No joke, this is my favorite piece of history to read about!

Plot: He Knew He Was Right

John C. Houbolt was many things. He was kind, smart, and incredibly intelligent. But above all else, he was stubborn. And when it came to his theory for reaching the moon, he knew he was right.

In the early 1960s, President Kennedy made a bold declaration: America would reach the moon by the end of the decade. This immediately sent NASA into a panic. In the next few years, they would scramble around like monkeys, hurling ideas out like they were throwing their feces. Among them, John Houbolt proposed an idea invented by one of his colleagues: Lunar Orbit Rendezvous.

And no one believed him. They treated him extremely poorly, both personally and professionally. Some even called him a fraud and accused his statistics of being false.

This is the story of John’s struggle through life. His two years trying to get his idea approved, his six-year struggle to get him and his colleagues the proper credit they deserve, and the difficulties and praise that came to his life post-moon landing.

As I mentioned earlier: this is an incredible piece of history. If you are fascinated by space travel, particularly in its early days, then you need to listen to this one!

Narration: A Passionate History Teacher

This book, much like the last two I’ve talked about, is more of an audio-documentary. It leans more towards the book side, as the amount of traditional narration greatly outweighs interview audio. Luckily, both are about the same level of quality.

Listening to this book is like sitting in on a good history lecture. The teacher is clearly passionate about the material, so he presents it in such a way that it doesn’t become immediately boring. They are solid, but they don’t have the charisma or energy of other narrators.


The moon landing was one of the coolest events in history. It is awe-inspiring in it of itself. But after reading this and learning of the struggles of everyone involved, especially John Houbolt? It is even more amazing!

I would recommend ‘The Man Who Knew The Way to The Moon’. If you are a history or science buff, you need to check it out! It is a fantastic and fascinating piece of history.

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