Book Review: Adventures in Space Advocacy

Category: Non-Fiction
Reviewed by: David Brandt-Erichsen
Title: Adventures in Space Advocacy
Author: Michael J. Mackowski
NSS Amazon link for this book
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Pages: 118
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date: April, 2015
Retail Price: $8.95/$4.95
ISBN: 978-1511564915

This book is a personal story of 35 years of space advocacy on the part of its author, a principle activist in the St. Louis and Phoenix chapters of the National Space Society and its predecessor organizations. The author, Michael Mackowsky, is currently the President of the Phoenix Chapter.

I was especially interested in getting this book because I also have a 35-year history of space advocacy including the founding of two chapters, and I was interested in “comparing notes.”

The author had the advantage of being an aerospace engineer so he could also channel his space passion into his career as well as utilize his career connections to assist in networking space advocay on a local level. But both of us faced the same big challenge all chapter activists face: How can an ordinary individual, and a small group of ordinary folks, ever hope to have an impact on creating the biggest project ever undertaken by the human race?

This question, in various forms, resonates throughout the book, though most of the book deals with mundane details such as how the St. Louis Chapter spearheaded efforts to promote SpaceWeek activities in the 1980s and got other local organizations to be involved in that (for which they won an NSS Chapter Award in 1988). He described what worked well and what didn’t work so well in organizing pro-space educational activities on a local level.

The book concludes with a chapter on the author’s perspectives on how effective or worthwhile his life-long efforts had been.

The book is a quick read and should be welcome to current-day chapter activists and to anyone interested in the history of space activism.

© 2015 David Brandt-Erichsen

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