Wyn Wachhorst’s book, The Dream of Spaceflight: Essays on the Near Edge of Infinity reached the bestseller list on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.* His book on Edison as an American cultural symbol (Thomas Alva Edison: An American Myth) was a History Book Club selection, picked by Choice as an outstanding book of the year, and reviewed favorably in Newsweek, Discover, Smithsonian, Science, the New York Times, London Sunday Times, and some three dozen other publications. MIT submitted it for the Pulitzer and five other prizes, more than they had sought for any previous book. He recently won Southwest Review‘s McGinnis-Ritchie prize for the best essay of 2013. Forthcoming is The Best of Times: Reflections on Nostalgia and Postwar America (essays and memoirs).
Wachhorst’s other publications include “Come Back, Shane! The National Nostalgia” (lead article in the Southwest Review, 2013), “The Nature of Nostalgia” (Narrative Magazine, 2013), a cover article for The Virginia Quarterly Review (“Seeking the Center At the Edge: Perspectives on the Meaning of Man in Space,” noted in The Best American Essays 1994), “The Dream of Spaceflight: Nostalgia For a Bygone Future” (cover article for The Massachusetts Review, noted in The Best American Essays 1996), “Kepler’s Children” (Yale Review) , “An American Motif: The Steam Locomotive in the Collective Imagination” (lead article in Southwest Review), “Crossing the Wide Missouri,” (Yale Review, noted in Best American Essays 2013), an article in San Francisco magazine, (“Touching the Sky,” on science and the human spirit), an article on science fiction film for the anthology Phoenix from the Ashes (cited by reviewers as the best of the book’s 20 essays), three pieces in The Journal of American History, two in Isis, 17 in Gentry, and articles in Endless Vacation, Mechanical Engineering, Extrapolation, The Explorers Journal, Planetary Report, The Trumpeter, and in anthologies.
Wachhorst was asked by NASA’s Decade Planning Team to write the “new NASA myth,” an inspirational long-term mission statement. He also writes speeches and articles for Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, (U.S. News, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other papers, magazines, anthologies, and TV specials, usually with joint byline). Wachhorst received his Ph.D. in American history from Stanford and has taught history and American studies at Stanford, the University of California Santa Cruz, and San Jose State.