Alan Shepard was the brashest, cockiest, and most flamboyant of America’s original Mercury Seven, but he also regarded as the best. Intense, colorful, and dramatic—the man who hit a golf ball on the moon—he was among the most private of America’s public figures and, until his death in 1998, he guarded the story of his life zealously. Light This Candle, based on Neal’s exclusive access to private papers and interviews with Shepard’s family and closest friends—including John Glenn, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper—offers a riveting, action-packed account of Shepard’s life. One of the most fearless test pilots, hugely competitive, he beat out John Glenn for the first Mercury spaceflight and then overcame a rare illness to return to space again on Apollo 14. Long overdue, Light This Candle is a candid and inspiring account of a bold American life.

“One of the finest books ever written about the space program.” -Homer Hickam, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Rocket Boys

"Tough to say what’s cooler: that Alan Shepard was the first American in space, or that he hit a golf ball on the moon. Thompson chronicles the amazing life of the brashest, funniest astronaut ever." -Men’s Health


A rare, warts-and-all portrait -- and Shepard had a lot of warts. Thompson does a stellar job painting a real-life figure who never really showed his true self to anyone.” -The Vancouver Sun

“Just what a biography should be: sharp, evocative, and brisk.” -Kirkus 

“Irresistible … a tenacious biography of Shepard’s remarkable life. A chapter of American history like no other. Thompson hits all the right notes.” -The Buffalo News


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