"And the Moon came nearer..."

A unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing, TASCHEN has paired Norman Mailer’s seminal text with spectacular photography—from the archives of NASA, LIFE magazine, and many other sources—to create a unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time.

It has been called the single most historic event of the 20th century: On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins met John F. Kennedy’s call for a manned Moon landing by the end of the 1960s. A decade of tests and training, a staff of 400,000 engineers and scientists, a budget of $24 billion, and the most powerful rocket ever launched all combined in an unprecedented event watched by millions the world over. And no one captured the men, the mood, and the machinery like Norman Mailer.

One of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, Norman Mailer was hired by LIFE in 1969 to cover the Moon shot. His three-part feature was the longest nonfiction piece LIFE had published. He enhanced and extended his reportage with deeper reflection in the brilliantly crafted book, Of a Fire on the Moon, excerpted here for the first time. Equally adept at examining the science of space travel and the psychology of the men involved—from Saturn V rocket engineer Wernher von Braun, to the crucial NASA support staff, to the three astronauts—Mailer provides provocative and trenchant insights into this epoch-making event.

Illustrating this volume are hundreds of the best photographs and maps from the NASA vaults, magazine archives, and private collections. Many of them previously unpublished, these images document the development of the agency and the mission, life inside the command module and on the Moon’s surface, and the world’s jubilant reaction to the landing. This edition includes an original introduction by Colum McCann and captions by leading Apollo 11 experts, explaining the history and science behind the images, citing the mission log and publications of the day, and post-flight astronaut interviews.

  • Limited to 1,969 copies in two editions
  • Each copy includes a Plexiglas-framed, ready-to-hang, archival-quality, numbered photographic print, produced using the revolutionary new Skia printing technique, and signed by Buzz Aldrin. This shot of Aldrin walking on the Moon is the definitive image of the Apollo 11 mission, and one of the most iconic photos ever taken
  • Hardcover in box with print
  • XXL format: 36.5 x 44 cm (14.4 x 17.3 in.); with framed print: 40 x 32.5 cm (15.7 x 12.8 in.)
  • 348 pages, including 4 foldouts
  • Utilizing state-of-the-art digital technology, no expense has been spared to restore the original photographic materials to the highest possible standards
  • English language edition

Collector’s Edition No. 1–1,957

  • Limited to 1,957 numbered copies
  • Packaged in a custom-molded white resin box with a convex Plexiglas window


Plexiglas-framed, ready-to-hang, archival-quality, numbered photographic print, signed by Buzz Aldrin

No. 1958–1969 LUNAR ROCK EDITION

  • Marc Newson designed this special edition of only 12 copies
  • Each copy comes with a unique specimen of lunar rock, ranging in weight from a slice of the moon at 0.4 grams to 30.34 grams, one of the largest lunar meteorites ever found on Earth
  • Specifications and prices available on request

The author:
Norman Mailer (1923–2007) was one of the 20th century’s greatest and most influential writers, as well as one of America’s most renowned and controversial literary figures. The best-selling author of a dozen novels and 20 works of nonfiction, he also wrote stage plays, screenplays, television miniseries, hundreds of essays, two books of poetry, and a collection of short stories. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he lived in Brooklyn, New York, and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The contributors:
Buzz Aldrin made history as one of the first men to walk on the Moon. A graduate of West Point, he earned his Sc.D. in Astronautics from MIT before joining NASA, and the Gemini XII and Apollo 11 missions. He is the founder of the ShareSpace Foundation and author of several books.

Colum McCann is the author of seven books, including Let the Great World Spin. He has written for The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, The Times (London), The Irish Times, and La República.
Norman Mailer. MoonFire. The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 (Collector's Edition)
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Norman Mailer. MoonFire. The Epic Journey of Apollo 11

, Buzz Aldrin, Colum McCann
Hardcover in box with framed print, 14.4 x 17.3 in., 350 pages
$ 1,800
  • Reviews
“A Moby-Dick of space… the gift of a genius.”
— New York magazine, New York, United States
  • See also
Norman Mailer/Bert Stern. Marilyn Monroe (Collector's Edition)
Norman Mailer/Bert Stern. Marilyn Monroe
Hardcover in clamshell box, 14.4 x 17.3 in., 278 pages
$ 1,000

Monroe by Mailer and Stern. Limited edition of 1,712 copies
Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket (XL-Format)
Coming soon Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket
Hardcover, 11.4 x 15.6 in., 370 pages
$ 150

Norman Mailer’s pro-JFK profile and seminal New Journalism showpiece “Superman Comes to the Supermarket,” originally published in Esquire in 1960, now rediscovered in photo book form. Alongside the complete Mailer portrait of JFK as the “existential hero,” see Kennedy’s campaign and personal life captured by such photojournalistic greats as Cornell Capa, Jacques Lowe, Paul Schutzer, and Garry Winogrand.