Featuring Jeff Shesol and Peter Baker on June 3, 2021

In the early 1960s, President Kennedy said the United States was in an "hour of maximum danger," as the Soviet Union was winning the space race. Then, on February 20, 1962, Friendship 7 began its orbit of Earth. With astronaut John Glenn on board, Friendship 7 got America back into the space race at one of the tensest moments of the Cold War. Jeff Shesol draws on historical archives, interviews, and Glenn’s personal notes to tell the story of the mission that changed the dynamics of the space race and restored American confidence during the Cold War.

Jeff Shesol’s two previous books, Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court and Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade, have won numerous awards. He also spent three years in the White House as one of President Clinton’s speechwriters. Shesol is a founding partner of West Wing Writers and formerly taught presidential history at Princeton University. He is a Rhodes Scholar who holds a master’s degree in history from Oxford University and a B.A. from Brown University. 

Peter Baker is the New York Times’ chief White House correspondent. Baker spent 20 years at the Washington Post, including four years as Moscow bureau chief in collaboration with his wife, journalist Susan Glasser. He has authored six award-winning books.

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