This book is one of two that came out of the author's extensive interviews with the former personnel of Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo program. It focuses on the people side of what was done at KSC to prepare the Saturn V/Apollo vehicles for launch.
Within just a few pages I was astonished at the sheer work that was required to prepare the vehicle for launch even after the various stages and spacecraft came to the Cape from their manufacturers. Each had to have every component tested and retested as they were mated together, and the book tells the story of the thousands of people that worked to prepare the various missions for launch. This was the first place that I saw that during the 1968-69 time period KSC was really actively preparing three missions at a time, from the rocket that was on the pad being tested for launch to two more that were in the Vehicle Assembly and Manned Spacecraft Operations buildings being tested and stacked.
The hardware was impressive, as was the engineering – but the sheer effort that went into testing everything to ensure that every component, switch, valve, pipe, wire and everything else worked flawlessly was is nothing short of amazing. When I realized that this book just told the people story, and Ward's next told the story of the equipment, I thought I'd be bored. I was anything but.