by Sukey HowardJanuary, 2000
Man with a mission John Glenn is an all-American hero, a 20th century icon, and a man who gives currency to the ideals of duty, obligation, and public service. His new memoir, John Glenn (6.5 hours), which he reads, gives that image a colorful reality. Born in a small, patriotic Ohio town in 1921, shaped by the Depression and the New Deal, Glenn grew up with the belief that the opportunity to join in America's quests and explorations was not only a sacred challenge, but a joyous adventure. Everything that came after that, he says, just seemed to follow naturally. What did follow is part of our proud legacy: Glenn became a highly decorated fighter pilot in WWII and again in Korea; he flew the first U.S. manned orbital mission in 1962; served in the Senate for 24 years; and then, last year at age 77, returned to space to become the world's oldest astronaut. His is an exemplary life, where family and American values are lived rather than hyperbolized.
Sukey Howard reports on spoken word audio each month.