From Rader, an MIT-credentialed scientist, popular podcast host, and SpaceX mission manager, comes a chronicle of exploration that spotlights humans' insatiable desire to continually push into new and uncharted territory, from civilization's earliest days to current planning for interstellar travel.
The Vikings’ forays across the North Atlantic and China’s fleets in the Indian Ocean command Rader’s attention as a prelude to his summary of the epic Age of Discovery and accessible accounts of the feats of Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Magellan, James Cook, and others, which expanded geographical knowledge and connected, for better and worse, hitherto isolated human populations ... Exulting in the curiosity and audacity that have propelled past exploration, Rader will excite readers about the future.
... straightforward, easy-to-understand chapters ... even in [Rader's] critiques of setbacks such as the end of the Saturn V rocket, the work’s tone is positive, with the theme of 'how exploration enriches us' excellently elaborated. And while not overly detailed, in some parts, such as a chapter on Amelia Earhart, passages can run long ... This clearly written and engaging overview of human exploration since our beginnings will capture the imaginations of both YA and adult readers. Highly recommended.
A mission manager at SpaceX, Rader is no scholar, but he has read the scholars as well as the popular books, so he has done his homework. As a result, his history of the human species, which makes up most of his book, has an air of authority as well as a lively pace ... The author marches quickly through the history of civilization, leaving no doubt in the reader’s mind that nations driven to explore—a word which he takes to include trading, conquering, or simply traveling—prospered ... Inevitably, he ends with a great deal of speculation, but it is good scientific speculation that will leave readers yearning to see how it turns out ... An astute—and highly flattering—view of human aspirations.