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Fringe science, sci-fi, futurism, and a dash of radical politics c. 1880-1940 - the precursors of rocket science. A strange and fascinating melange of virtually unknown scientific sources, marginal novels, etc, with a special focus on the USSR.
On first listen I found this book nearly incomprehensible, it was throwing so much unfamiliar material at me. On second listen, the outline was clearer, and the research seems thorough and even-handed.
Little actual science or politics - mainly a review of fringe literature that laid the groundwork for the development of rockets.
Not for everyone, but on its own terms, an outstanding book.