If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war Of the twenty six British climbers who, on three expeditions 1921 24 , walked 400 miles off the map to find and assault the highest mountain on Earth, twenty had seen the worst of the fighting Six had been severely wounded, two others nearly killed by disease at the Front, one hospitalized twice with shell shock Three as army surgeons dealt for the duration with the agonies of the dying Two lost brothers, killed in action All had endured the slaughter, the coughing of the guns, the bones and barbed wire, the white faces of the dead In a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain The price of life is death Mallory walked on because for him, as for all of his generation, death was but a frail barrier that men crossed, smiling and gallant, every day As climbers they accepted a degree of risk unimaginable before the war They were not cavalier, but death was no stranger They had seen so much that it had no hold on them What mattered was how one lived, the moments of being alive For all of them Everest had become an exalted radiance, a sentinel in the sky, a symbol of hope in a world gone mad....
|Title||:||Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest|
|Publisher||:||Bodley Head First Edition edition October 1, 2011|
|Number of Pages||:||672 pages|
|File Size||:||682 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest Reviews
This outstanding and exhaustively researched book describes the experience of participating in the First World War, the impact of that on men and their lives, and how some of those men subsequently embarked on expeditions to find a route to Everest (and possibly reach its summit). It has a remarkable structure for a mountaineering narrative, and this may be too lengthy for anyone looking simply for an epic tale, but I found the book captivating, enchanting even. It told me about other English men in other times, with such a richness of descriptive detail that it continually gave me better perspective on my own generation (born after the Second World War) and my own times. And although I have read many books about Himalayan climbing, it taught me for the first time about the scale and grandeur, and the formidable challenge, of those mountains at the time when exploration was incomplete and mountaineering equipment was rudimentary. It also taught me something about the customs and religion of the people who inhabit those mountains, and particularly about their animistic perceptions of the mountains and their spiritual significance, a rich and educational experience and a wonderful preparation for my Annapurna trek shortly after reading the book. The author should be applauded for his extraordinary industry in researching and succinctly describing the Great War, the history of British imperial involvement in Himalayan states, the post-war climbing scene in Britain, and even the botanical richness of the mountains. It all makes for a terrific book!
As an historian, an avid reader, and a novice armchair mountaineer, this is far an away one of the finest books I've ever read.
First -- the good: