FORTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH the Soviet Union orbited a “man-made moon” whose derisive chirp persuaded Americans they’d already lost a race that had barely begun
IT WASN’T THE BEST OF TIMES, BUT IT WASN’T THE worst of times either. Although a mild recession had cooled down the post-Korean War economy, many families were living comfortable lives in the autumn of 1957. There were 170 million Americans now, and more of them had taken a vacation that summer than ever before, just like the swells out in Southampton.
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