In this innovatory book Daniel Sage analyses how and why American space exploration reproduced and transformed American cultural and political imaginations by appealing to, and to an extent organizing, the transcendence of spatial and temporal frontiers. In so doing, he traces the development of a seductive, and powerful, yet complex and unstable American geographical imagination: the ’transcendental state’. Historical and indeed contemporary space exploration is, despite some recent notable exceptions, worthy of more attention across the social sciences and humanities. While largely engaging with the historical development of space exploration, it shows how contemporary cultural and social, and indeed geographical, research themes, including national identity, critical geopolitics, gender, technocracy, trauma and memory, can be informed by the study of space exploration.
’It has long seemed to me that social scientists need to raise their eyes from the ground. In this splendid book, Dan Sage shows us why it is so important to look elsewhere for explanations of the present. Looking at outer space allows us to see our own organizations and politics more clearly, and also opens the possibility of enquiries into what we might become.’ Martin Parker, University of Leicester, UK ’Daniel Sage's How Outer Space made America is a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich account of how America and Americans took to Space. Eschewing accounts that over-determine the militaristic, the nationalistic and the imperialistic, emphasis is given to the manner in which art, religion, popular culture, museums, political speeches and journalism helped to complicate this engagement with the vertical and cosmic frontiers of the United States. A really good read and a book that is as much a tale about outer space as it is a provocation to those interested in theorising geo-power, affect, and the transcendental state.’ Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway University of London, UK 'It is a good read for understanding broader themes around how policy making can be influenced by broader international political concerns and the interrelationship between political motives and organisational practices'.LSE Review of Books
Contents: Introducing a geography of outer space; America as transcendental; Framing a world beyond; Placing the moon; Technocracy in the space age; Whose body for whose future?; Was revolution ever in the air?; Memorializing the future; Traumatizing spaceflight; Critical cosmopolitics; References; Index.