New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. 415,  pages. Notes. Index. Signed by author on title page. Autographed sticker on front of DJ. Joel Leroy Achenbach (born December 31, 1960) is an American staff writer for The Washington Post and the author of seven books, including A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea, The Grand Idea, Captured by Aliens, It Looks Like a President only Smaller, and three compilations of his former syndicated newspaper column "Why Things Are". He is a contributor to many publications, including Slate and National Geographic, where he is a former monthly columnist. Mr. Achenbach has been a commentator on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, and does occasional lectures and other speaking engagements. In addition to his work in the print version of The Washington Post, Achenbach was one of the first Post writers to have a significant presence on the Internet and formerly wrote the popular Post blog, "The Achenblog," which ended in March 2017. A witty analysis of the search for extraterrestrial life reflects on larger issues of science, superstition, and spirituality to examine the elusive question of aliens' existence and discusses Carl Sagan, alien abduction, and other related topics. Achenbach puts the ET debate into the context of the space program, discoveries in astronomy, and the hunger for meaning in an era when science often doesn't provide the answers that people desire. He finds some fascinating, admirable, and maddening characters who have pursued the truth about extraterrestrial life: Carl Sagan, the brilliant astronomer who brought the cosmos to the masses; Dan Goldin the cantankerous head of NASA who still believes in the dream of the Space Age; Henry Harris, a former Las Vegas lounge singer who is assigned the job of figuring out how to get a spaceship to Alpha Centauri; and others. Achenbach discovers that the search for life elsewhere leads us on a looping road back to the fundamental questions about life on Earth. Condition: Very good / Very good.
Keywords: Extraterrestrial, Carl Sagan, Dan Goldin, Henry Harris, Alien Abduction, Astrobiology, Jan Bingham, Frank Drake, Hubble Space Telescope, Everett Gibson, NASA, Astronautics, Propulsion Systems, Roswell, Spacecraft, Space Shuttle, Unidentified Flying O