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The best place to start is Apollo by Murray/Cox: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/282086.Apollo Rather than focusing on the astronauts, this is very much a story of the engineering and management that made the project possible.

From someone who helped develop the lunar lander, there's Thomas J. Kelly's "Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module": https://www.amazon.com/dp/1588342735/

Another good book (so I've heard - I own a copy but haven't made time to read it yet) is Sunburst and Luminary by Don Eyles, who worked on the guidance system at MIT: https://www.sunburstandluminary.com/SLhome.html

For deep technical details (but light on first-person stories), there's How Apollo Flew to the Moon: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2323178.How_Apollo_Flew_...

Finally, not strictly related to the space race, but for some truly wonderful first-hand tales from the development of rocket propellants, you can't beat John D. Clark's Ignition!: https://www.amazon.com/Ignition-Informal-Propellants-Univers...




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