By Annie Dillard

A publication that immediately captured the hearts of readers around the kingdom, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard's poignant, brilliant memoir of becoming up in Pittsburgh within the Nineteen Fifties.

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Theoretically, the government of any nation is a certain abstract entity standing over society. It is obliged to safeguard the economic and social structure of society, 8 Chertok ch2 12/21/04 11:27 AM Page 9 On the Times and My Contemporaries depending on the sovereign will of the people, and to be the sole source of power. However, the interests of the state, its policies, and its forms of power are determined by specific people—the political leaders that are in power, who rely on the state apparatus, which is not faceless either, but consists of specific people who are obliged to ensure the realization of strategic, economic, and social doctrines.

Due to my literary inexperience, I assumed that memoirs on the establishment and development of aviation and, subsequently, rocket-space technology and the people who created it could be limited to a single book of no more than five hundred pages. However, it turns out that when one is producing a literary work aspiring to historical authenticity, one’s plans for the size and the deadlines fall through, just as rocket-space systems aspiring to the highest degree of reliability exceed their budgets and fail to meet their deadlines.

They had only begun to grow accustomed to one another in Germany at the RABE, Nordhausen, and Berlin institutes. Dmitriy Fedorovich Ustinov, Minister of Armaments, and Ivan Savelyevich Zubovich, who was relieved of his duties as Deputy Minister of the Electric Industry, were appointed deputy Chairmen of the Special Committee. The Committee was given the responsibility for the development of the new field and invested with very broad powers. The resolution of 13 May 1946 made projects concerning rocket technology the most important state mission, and it was imperative that their execution be given top priority.

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An American Childhood by Annie Dillard


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