A Brief History for the Future
by Oliver Morton
Published by Profile Books www.profilebooks.com
When the Israeli lunar probe ‘Beresheet’ crashed into the Moon in April 2019, it contained a library of 30,000 books engraved on 25 nickel disks. ‘The Moon’ by veteran space correspondent Oliver Morton wasn’t among them. Hopefully the next probe will preserve a copy because the real audience for this book won’t be born for centuries and maybe not on Earth.
The Moon will come to mean something else to them – holiday resort, home, industrial park or maybe just advertising hoarding. However harsh a mistress it may be to those future Selenites, Morton wants to preserve this historical record of what it has meant to us – to all the Earthbound artists and lovers, scientists, explorers, smugglers and dreamers who came before.
In elegant and lyrical prose, collating science along with myths and legends from around the world (mostly the Western parts), Morton entertainingly and informatively teases out the Moon’s place as both symbol and stone in our cultural and scientific zeitgeist.