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Foreword Reviews An Immigrant’s Journey

An Immigrant’s Journey into the Cosmos recently received a positive review from Foreword Reviews. Below is an excerpt from the review:


The story of an astronomer’s life in Baghdad and the United States offers a glimpse of a multitalented individual.

In his memoir, An Immigrant’s Journey into the Cosmos, astronomer N. Y. Misconi recounts the highlights of a lengthy career as a college professor and researcher in the United States along with his frequent appearances on a popular science show in Baghdad. The story of Misconi’s life offers a glimpse of a multitalented individual.

Born in Baghdad in 1939 and educated in Turkey and the United States, where he successfully pursued his dream of becoming a full-time research scientist, Misconi’s life offers a wealth of material for a memoirist to draw upon.

Events are recounted in a fairly straightforward chronological order, and include everything from a life-threatening childhood illness to the establishment of a planetarium at the University of Baghdad to the obtainment of professional milestones, such as becoming a member of a prestigious society of astronomers. Yet Misconi the man remains elusive as he reveals only the pieces of a puzzle.

Memorable moments—such as the time Misconi appeared on Iraqi television at gunpoint, when fighting nearly broke out between Iraqi and Turkish students, or when he was quarantined for a week in squalid conditions at a border crossing between Iraq and Turkey.

What is arguably the driving force of Misconi’s life: “the thrill of research.” That thrill was enough to inspire Misconi to become an astronomer in a country that boasted only one other living astronomer and to pull him across international borders for an education and a chance at a new life in a new country.

Diane Taylor

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