I would like to think of myself as a relatively mild mannered man. Having said that, there is almost nothing that makes me want to sail over a table, fists flying, as when I hear someone casually announce that ” Of course they didn’t go to the moon. It was all a film set!”
Piers Bizony (What a great name!) sets out in his book The Man Who Ran The Moon the story of James Webb, an old style Democratic hack who was appointed to head NASA, and pretty much singlehandedly turned US policy towards landing a man on the moon. With a mix of noble belief (Webb believed that all problems, including poverty, could be solved by NASA style mission controls) and good ole fashioned political wheel greasing (Wonder why mission control is in Houston? Because the congressman in charge of NASA’s budget represented the district!) Webb took 5% of the national budget and employed 500,000 people on the moonshot.
Which, incidentally, is why I believe they did go to the moon. Because they had spent so much money and involved so many people it would have been impossible not to.