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The Mormon handcart tragedy of 1856 is the worst disaster in the history of the Western migrations, and yet it remains virtually unknown today outside Mormon circles. Following the death of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, its second Prophet and new leader, Brigham Young, determined to move the faithful out of the Midwest, where they had been constantly persecuted by their neighbors, to found a new Zion in the wilderness. In 1846-47, the Mormons made their way west, generally following the Oregon Trail, arriving in July 1847 in what is today Utah, where they established Salt Lake City. Nine years later, fearing a federal invasion, Young and other Mormon leaders wrestled with the question of how to bring thousands of impoverished European converts, mostly British and Scandinavian, from the Old World to Zion. Young conceived of a plan in which the European Mormons would travel by ship to New York City and by train to Iowa City. From there, instead of crossing the plains by covered wagon, they would push and pull wooden handcarts all the way to Salt Lake. But the handcart plan was badly flawed. The carts, made of green wood, constantly broke down; the baggage allowance of seventeen pounds per adult was far too small; and the food provisions were woefully inadequate, especially considering the demanding physical labor of pushing and pulling the handcarts 1,300 miles across plains and mountains. Five companies of handcart pioneers left Iowa for Zion that spring and summer, but the last two of them left late. As a consequence, some 900 Mormons in these two companies were caught in early snowstorms in Wyoming. When the church leadership in Salt Lake became aware of the dire circumstances of these pioneers, Young launched a heroic rescue effort. But for more than 200 of the immigrants, the rescue came too late. The story of the Mormon handcart tragedy has never before been told in full despite its stunning human drama: At least five times as many people died in the Mormon tragedy as died in the more famous Donner Party disaster. David Roberts has researched this story in Mormon archives and elsewhere, and has traveled along the route where the handcart pioneers came to grief. Based on his research, he concludes that the tragedy was entirely preventable. Brigham Young and others in the Mormon leadership failed to heed the abundant signs of impending catastrophe, including warnings from other Mormon elders in the East and Midwest, where the journey began. Devil's Gate is a powerful indictment of the Mormon leadership and a gripping story of survival and suffering that is superbly told by one of our finest writers of Western history.
In 1937, Mount Lucania was the highest unclimbed peak in North America. Located deep within the Saint Elias mountain range, which straddles the border of Alaska and the Yukon, and surrounded by glacial peaks, Lucania was all but inaccessible. The leader of one failed expedition deemed it "impregnable. " But in that year, a pair of daring young climbers would attempt a first ascent, not knowing that their quest would turn into a perilous struggle for survival. Escape from Lucania is their remarkable story. Classmates and fellow members of the Harvard Mountaineering Club, Brad Washburn and Bob Bates were two talented young men -- handsome, intelligent, and filled with a zest for exploring. Both were ambitious climbers, part of a small group whose first ascents in the great mountain ranges during the 1930s and 1940s changed the face of American mountaineering. Setting their sights on summitting Lucania in the summer of 1937, Washburn and Bates put together a team of four climbers for the expedition. But when Bates and Washburn flew to the Walsh Glacier at the foot of Lucania, they discovered that freakish weather conditions had turned the ice to slush. Their pilot was barely able to take off again alone, and there was no question of returning with the other two climbers or more supplies. Washburn and Bates found themselves marooned on the glacier, more than a hundred miles from help, in forbidding and desolate territory. Eschewing a trek out to the nearest mining town -- eighty miles away by air -- they decided to press ahead with their expedition. Escape from Lucania recounts Washburn and Bates's determined drive toward Lucania's 17,150-foot summit under constant threat of avalanches, blinding snowstorms, and hidden crevasses. Against awesome odds they became the first to set foot on Lucania's peak, not realizing that their greatest challenge still lay beyond. Nearly a month after being stranded on the glacier and with their supplies running dangerously low, they would have to navigate their way out through uncharted Yukon territory, racing against time as the summer warmth caused rivers to swell and flood to unfordable depths. But even as their situation grew more and more desperate, they refused to give up. Escape from Lucania tells this amazing story in thrilling and vivid detail, from the climbers' exultation at reaching the summit to their darkest moments confronting seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is a tale of awesome adventure and harrowing danger. But above all it is the story of two men of extraordinary spirit, inspiring comradeship, and great courage. Today Washburn and Bates, now in their nineties, are legends in climbing circles. Bates co-led 1938 and 1953 expeditions to K2, the world's second-highest mountain. Washburn, whose record of Alaskan first ascents is unmatched, became founding director of Boston's Museum of Science and is one of the premier mountain photographers in the world. Some of his remarkable images from the 1937 Lucania expedition are included in this book.
Finding Everett Ruess by David Roberts, with a foreword by Jon Krakauer, is the definitive biography of the artist, writer, and eloquent celebrator of the wilderness whose bold solo explorations of the American West and mysterious disappearance in the Utah desert at age 20 have earned him a large and devoted cult following. More than 75 years after his vanishing, Ruess stirs the kinds of passion and speculation accorded such legendary doomed American adventurers as Into the Wild's Chris McCandless and Amelia Earhart. "I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the street car and the star sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities." So Everett Ruess wrote in his last letter to his brother. And earlier, in a valedictory poem, "Say that I starved; that I was lost and weary; That I was burned and blinded by the desert sun; Footsore, thirsty, sick with strange diseases; Lonely and wet and cold . . . but that I kept my dream!" Wandering alone with burros and pack horses through California and the Southwest for five years in the early 1930s, on voyages lasting as long as ten months, Ruess also became friends with photographers Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange, swapped prints with Ansel Adams, took part in a Hopi ceremony, learned to speak Navajo, and was among the first "outsiders" to venture deeply into what was then (and to some extent still is) largely a little-known wilderness. When he vanished without a trace in November 1934, Ruess left behind thousands of pages of journals, letters, and poems, as well as more than a hundred watercolor paintings and blockprint engravings. A Ruess mystique, initiated by his parents but soon enlarged by readers and critics who, struck by his remarkable connection to the wild, likened him to a fledgling John Muir. Today, the Ruess cult has more adherents--and more passionate ones--than at any time in the seven-plus decades since his disappearance. By now, Everett Ruess is hailed as a paragon of solo exploration, while the mystery of his death remains one of the greatest riddles in the annals of American adventure. David Roberts began probing the life and death of Everett Ruess for National Geographic Adventure magazine in 1998. Finding Everett Ruess is the result of his personal journeys into the remote areas explored by Ruess, his interviews with oldtimers who encountered the young vagabond and with Ruess's closest living relatives, and his deep immersion in Ruess's writings and artwork. It is an epic narrative of a driven and acutely perceptive young adventurer's expeditions into the wildernesses of landscape and self-discovery, as well as an absorbing investigation of the continuing mystery of his disappearance. In this definitive account of Ruess's extraordinary life and the enigma of his vanishing, David Roberts eloquently captures Ruess's tragic genius and ongoing fascination.From the Hardcover edition.
Frightfully Friendly Ghosties is a hilarious book for young readers about the adventures of a funny, charming, and terribly polite group of ghosts who just want to get along with their housemates. The cast of classic characters, brilliant one-liners, and clever plotting will delight children and their parents.Tabitha Tumbly, Charlie Vapor, Rusty Chains, and their friends can't understand why the still-alives in their house are so mean. The friendlier the ghosties are--whether hiding under beds and rushing out to read the still-alives a bedtime story or swooping down the chimney just to say hello--the meaner the still-alives become! When the still-alive family puts garlic around the house and calls in a priest, however, the ghostie gloves come off. Tabitha and Charlie decide to invite The Ghoul to sort out the still-alives once and for all. But could the terrifying Ghoul prove to be more trouble than the ghosties bargained for?From the Hardcover edition.
It's winter and what could be better than a ghostly holler-day by the sea? But how are Tabitha Tumbly, Charlie Vapour, Humphrey Bump and the other ghosties going to decide between Frighten-on-Sea and Scare-borough? A postcard from their friend Headless Leslie decides for them: Headless is in Frighten and cannot remember how to get home. He wrote the address on the postcard, then he forgot what the address was. So the friends descend on Frighten and set off on an exciting ghosty caper, involving a haunted Frighten pier, a mysterious phantom magician, a fun fair, and an extremely infuriating Headless Leslie.
For two-semester, junior/senior-level courses in the History of England. Volume I may be used for a one-semester course in the History of England to 1714. This two-volume broad, narrative account of English history-from the first settlers in the Paleolithic Age to the present day-draws on the most up-to-date primary and secondary research to illuminate the full range of England's social, economic, cultural, and political past, and focuses on how and why events occurred.
The Anasazi, ancestors of the Pueblo people, inhabited the Southwest for at least 5,000 years. David Roberts' extensive interviews and back country travels create a richly detailed portrait of an enigmatic people.
A thrilling chronicle of the tragedy-ridden history of climbing K2, the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountain, by the bestselling authors of No Shortcuts to the Top. At 28,251 feet, the world's second-tallest mountain, K2 thrusts skyward out of the Karakoram Range of northern Pakistan. Climbers regard it as the ultimate achievement in mountaineering, with good reason. Four times as deadly as Everest, K2 has claimed the lives of seventy-seven climbers since 1954. In August 2008 eleven climbers died in a single thirty-six-hour period on K2-the worst single-event tragedy in the mountain's history and the second-worst in the long chronicle of mountaineering in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges. Yet summiting K2 remains a cherished goal for climbers from all over the globe. Before he faced the challenge of K2 himself, Ed Viesturs, one of the world's premier high-altitude mountaineers, thought of it as "the holy grail of mountaineering."In K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain, Viesturs explores the remarkable history of the mountain and of those who have attempted to conquer it. At the same time he probes K2's most memorable sagas in an attempt to illustrate the lessons learned by confronting the fundamental questions raised by mountaineering-questions of risk, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the price of glory. Viesturs knows the mountain firsthand. He and renowned alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and were nearly killed in an avalanche that sent them sliding to almost certain death. Fortunately, Ed managed to get into a self-arrest position with his ice ax and stop both his fall and Scott's. Focusing on seven of the mountain's most dramatic campaigns, from his own troubled ascent to the 2008 tragedy, Viesturs and Roberts crafts an edge-of-your-seat narrative that climbers and armchair travelers alike will find unforgettably compelling. With photographs from Viesturs's personal collection and from historical sources, this is the definitive account of the world's ultimate mountain, and of the lessons that can be gleaned from struggling toward its elusive summit.
American Brad Washburn had an impact on his protÉgÉs and imitators as profound as that of any other adventurer in the twentieth century. Unquestionably regarded as the greatest mountaineer in Alaskan history and as one of the finest mountain photographers of all time, Washburn transformed American attitudes toward wilderness and revolutionized the art of mountaineering and exploration in the great ranges. In The Last of His Kind, National Geographic Adventure contributing editor David Roberts goes beyond conventional biography to reveal the essence of this man through the prism of his extraordinary exploits from New England to Chamonix, the Himalaya to the Yukon. Washburn's remarkable achievements--including nine first ascents of North American peaks--would stamp him not only as one of a kind, but as one of a kind they don't make anymore. Born June 7, 1910, to a Boston Brahmin family whose roots trace back to the Mayflower, this highly intelligent, impatient, and stubborn iconoclast published books, made a monumental first ascent in the French Alps that would become a touchstone in mountaineering history, and lectured on his adventures--including an address to the National Geographic Society--while still in his teens. In 1935, at the age of twenty-four, while others were turning their attention to the Himalaya, the Harvard-educated Washburn led a three-month journey across what was then the largest remaining unexplored territory in North America--the 6,400 square miles of glaciers and mountains in the frozen heart of Alaska's Saint Elias Range. In addition to his prowess as a mountaineer and photographer, Washburn was also a renowned surveyor and cartographer, producing maps of little-known terrain--the Grand Canyon, Mt. McKinley, and Mt. Everest--that surpassed those that came before, and several of which remain the standard. He was also a scientist who would take a regional natural-history museum and transform it into one of the outstanding teaching institutions of its kind in the world. Roberts introduces the family, teachers, friends, colleagues, and rivals who would play important roles in this legendary man's experiences, and re-creates his enthralling journeys to some of the most remote and beautifully wild places on earth. An exciting narrative of mountain climbing in the twentieth century, The Last of His Kind brings into focus Washburn's deeds in the context of the history of mountaineering, and provides a fascinating look at an amazing culture and the influential icon who shaped it.
This is the adventure story of the year -- how Conrad Anker found the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, casting an entirely new light on the mystery of the explorer who may have conquered Everest seventy-five years ago. On June 8, 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine were last seen climbing toward the summit of Mount Everest. Clouds soon closed around them, and they vanished into history. Ever since, mountaineers have wondered whether they reached the summit twenty-nine years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. On May 1, 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world's strongest mountaineers, discovered Mallory's body lying facedown, frozen into the scree and naturally mummified at 27,000 feet on Everest's north face. The condition of the body, as well as the artifacts found with Mallory, including goggles, an altimeter, and a carefully wrapped bundle of personal letters, are important clues in determining his fate. Seventeen days later, Anker free-climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north ridge. The first expedition known to have conquered the Second Step, a Chinese team in 1975, had tied a ladder to the cliff, leaving unanswered the question of whether Mallory could have climbed it in 1924. Anker's climb was the first test since Mallory's of the cliff's true difficulty. In treacherous conditions, Anker led teammate Dave Hahn from the Second Step to the summit. Reflecting on the climb, Anker explains why he thinks Mallory and Irvine failed to make the summit, but at the same time, he expresses his awe at Mallory's achievement with the primitive equipment of the time. Stunningly handsome and charismatic, Mallory charmed everyone who met him during his lifetime and continues to fascinate mountaineers today. He was an able writer, a favorite of the Bloomsbury circle, and a climber of legendary gracefulness. The Lost Exploreris the remarkable story of this extraordinarily talented man and of the equally talented modern climber who spearheaded a discovery that may ultimately help solve the mystery of Mallory's disappearance.
Veteran world-class climber and bestselling author Ed Viesturs--the only American to have climbed all fourteen of the world's 8,000-meter peaks, and only the sixth man to do so without supplemental oxygen--trains his sights on Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth, in richly detailed accounts of expeditions that are by turns personal, harrowing, deadly, and inspiring.The world's most famous mountain, Everest remains for serious high-altitude climbers an ultimate goal. Ed Viesturs has gone on eleven expeditions to Everest, reaching the summit seven times. He's spent more than two years of his life on the mountain. No climber today is better poised to survey Everest's various ascents--both personal and historic. In The Mountain, Viesturs delivers just that: riveting you-are-there accounts of his own climbs as well as vivid narratives of some of the more famous and infamous climbs throughout the last century, when the honor of nations often hung in the balance, depending on which climbers summited first. In addition to his own experiences, Viesturs sheds light on the fate of Mallory and Irvine, whose 1924 disappearance just 800 feet from the top remains one of mountaineering's greatest mysteries, and on the multiply tragic last days of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer in 1996, the stuff of which Into Thin Air was made. Informed by the experience of one who has truly been there, The Mountain affords a rare glimpse into that place on earth where Heraclitus's maxim--character is destiny--is proved time and again. Complete with gorgeous photos of Everest, many of which were taken by Viesturs himself, and shots taken on some of the legendary historic climbs, The Mountain is an immensely appealing book for active and armchair climber alike.
John C. Frémont, nearly forgotten today, was one of the giants of nineteenth-century America. He led five expeditions into the American West in the 1840s and 1850s, covering a greater area than any other explorer. His expedition reports -- ghost-written by his beautiful and talented wife, Jessie Benton Frémont -- were bestsellers in their day. Riding the wave of his popularity, he captured the Republican Party nomination for president in 1856 but narrowly lost the election. Frémont's scout on three of his expeditions was Kit Carson. Frémont fancied himself a mountaineer, and he possessed great stamina and courage, but he lacked Carson's skills and knowledge. The only expedition Frémont led without Carson was a disaster that, like the better-known Donner Party debacle, culminated in one of the rare documented instances of cannibalism in American history. A Newer Worldis the fascinating story of the Frémont-Carson expeditions and of two men, utterly unalike in so many ways, who became friends as well as fellow explorers. Frémont owed his life to Carson, who saved him on several occasions, while the legend of Kit Carson, the greatest mountain man of his day, grew out of Frémont's expedition reports. The Frémont-Carson expeditions are second only to Lewis and Clark's in their significance for America's western expansion. Their 1845-46 campaign, for example, helped to precipitate the Mexican-American War and led to the wresting of California from Mexico. Carson is often remembered today for his 1863-64 roundup of Apaches and Navajos, leading to the infamous Long Walk. David Roberts demonstrates that Carson, who was twice married to Indian women, was profoundly ambivalent about the campaign, which was ordered by an Army officer who was his superior. Throughout the book, Roberts draws on little-known primary sources in telling the dramatic stories of these expeditions. He shows how Frémont saw himself as a historical figure, especially in his reports, while Carson -- taciturn where Frémont was outspoken, modest where Frémont was boastful, and, significantly, illiterate -- was oblivious to his own fame. Yet it was Carson who underwent an evolution from an Indian killer to an Indian advocate. In addition to his archival research, Roberts traveled the routes of Frémont and Carson's expeditions to gain a firsthand knowledge of the territory they explored. In analyzing how Frémont and Carson advanced the Americanizing of the West, Roberts writes with a modern-day sensitivity to the Indians, for whom these expeditions were a tragedy.
Lord Edward Corinth embarks on his most important investigation. It is 1939 and it is clear that Britain will soon be at war and MI5 has learnt that an enemy agent has been dispatched to England to assassinate Winston Churchill. The assassin_s identity is unknown and Lord Edward, pursuing one line of enquiry, goes to Cliveden, the Astor_s country house in Buckinghamshire. Verity Browne is also at Cliveden, much as she despises the _Cliveden Set_. She has been ordered by her superiors in the Communist Party to get as close as possible to one of the Astor_s guests, Joesph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in the UK. And when the ambassador_s sons Joe and Jack Kennedy discover the body of a man in Cliveden_s grounds, Verity is dismayed to recognize the dead man as a former journalistic colleague from the civil war which still rages in Spain. The race against time to identify Churchill_s would-be assassin and the murderer of Verity_s friend takes the intrepid duo to Switzerland and a nail-biting climax on St Moritz_s icy Cresta Run. Praise for David Roberts' Previous Novels_A gripping, richly satisfying whodunit with finely observed characters, sparkling with insouciance and stinging menace. _ Peter James'A classic murder mystery with as complex a plot as one could hope for and a most engaging pair of amateur sleuths. ' Charles Osborne, author of The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie'This is a witty and meticulous recreation of the class- ridden middle England of the 1930s_ a perfect example of golden-age mystery traditions with the cobwebs swept away. ' Guardian_The plot is both intricate and enthralling, like Poirot on the high seas, and lovingly recorded by an author with a meticulous eye and a huge sense of fun. ' Michael Dobbs
This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a living legend of extreme mountaineering as he makes his assault on history, one 8,000-meter summit at a time.For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing's holy grail: to stand atop the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. But No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go.A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, "Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory." It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs's odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.
By the time David Roberts turned twenty-two, he had been involved in three fatal mountain climbing accidents and had himself escaped death by the sheerest of luck. Anyone who has ever wondered why mountaineers take the risks that they do will be moved and enlightened by On the Ridge Between Life and Death, as will anyone who appreciates vivid, dramatic storytelling and an unflinchingly honest self-examination of a lifetime spent pursuing a dangerous pastime.
Of the many tales of conflict and warfare between the U.S. government and the Indian tribes, perhaps none is more dramatic or revealing than the story of the Apache wars. Those wars were the final episode in the U.S. government's subjugation of the indigenous peoples; the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 effectively ended the Indian wars. As Anglo settlers moved into the Southwest in the mid-1800s, skirmishes with the Indians intensified. The Apaches were the most feared of the Southwestern tribes, both by Anglos and by other Indians. Under the leadership of the charismatic Cochise, the various Apache groups unified in opposition to settlers and to U.S. Army patrols. Although soldiers lured Cochise into a trap through trickery, he quickly escaped and was never recaptured. Shortly before Cochise's death, General George Crook was sent to the Southwest to subdue the Apaches and settle them onto reservations. Crook's predecessors had had little luck against the Apaches, who seemed to be able to melt into their mountain homelands when pursued. But Crook began using as scouts Apaches who had agreed to surrender and move to reservations. Thanks to the tracking skills of these Apache scouts, Crook was able effectively to pursue the free Apaches now under the leadership of Geronimo and other warriors. Geronimo, upset about the loss of his freedom, accepted the reservation for months at a time, only to break out and resume his resistance. In September 1886, recognizing the hopelessness of endless flight, he surrendered for good, having successfully eluded one-fourth of the U.S. Army. Once They Moved Like the Wind is the epic story of the Apache campaign, told with sympathy and understanding. David Roberts recognizes that in struggling to save their land, the Apaches were fighting to preserve their way of life. Evenhandedly, he describes the sorry history of the reservations, where the Apaches were deceived and abused by the U.S. government and its agents, while at the same time he acknowledges reliable contemporary sources that reported on the Apaches' cruelty. Using historical archives and contemporary accounts, David Roberts has written an original, stirring account of the last years of the free Apaches.
With the conquest of New Mexico in 1598, Spanish governors, soldiers, and missionaries began their brutal subjugation of the Pueblo Indians in what is today the Southwestern United States. This oppression continued for decades, until, in the summer of 1680, led by a visionary shaman named Pope, the Puebloans revolted. Before then the many different Pueblo villages had never acted in concert (and never would again). Now, in total secrecy they coordinated an attack, killing 401 settlers and soldiers and routing the rulers in Santa Fe. Every Spaniard was driven from the Pueblo homeland, the only time in North American history that conquering Europeans were thoroughly expelled from Indian territory. Yet today, more than three centuries later, crucial questions about the Pueblo Revolt remain unanswered. How did Pope succeed in his brilliant plot? And what happened in the Pueblo world between 1680 and 1692, when a new Spanish force reconquered the Pueblo peoples with relative ease? David Roberts set out to try to answer these questions and to bring this remarkable historical episode to life. He visited Pueblo villages, talked with Native American and Anglo historians, combed through archives, discovered backcountry ruins, sought out the vivid rock art panels carved and painted by Puebloans contemporary with the events, and pondered the existence of centuries-old Spanish documents never seen by Anglos.
Restoration London's leading actor and theater manager Thomas Betterton has not been the subject of a biography since 1891. He worked with all the best-known playwrights of his age and with the first generation of English actresses; he was intimately involved in the theater's responses to politics, and became a friend of leading literary men such as Pope and Steele. His innovations in scenery and company management, and his association with the dramatic inheritance of Shakespeare, helped to change the culture of English theater. David Roberts's entertaining study unearths new documents and draws fresh conclusions about this major but shadowy figure. It contextualizes key performances and examines Betterton's relationship to patrons, colleagues and family, as well as to significant historical moments and artifacts. The most substantial study available of any seventeenth-century actor, Thomas Betterton gives one of England's greatest performing artists his due on the tercentenary of his death.
In a startling look at the classic Annapurna -- the most famous book about mountaineering -- David Roberts discloses what really happened on the legendary expedition to the Himalayan peak. In June 1950, a team of mountaineers was the first to conquer an 8,000-meter peak. Maurice Herzog, the leader of the expedition, became a national hero in France, and Annapurna, his account of the historic ascent, has long been regarded as the ultimate tale of courage and cooperation under the harshest of conditions. In True Summit, David Roberts presents a fascinating revision of this classic tale. Using newly available documents and information gleaned from a rare interview with Herzog (the only climber on the team still living), Roberts shows that the expedition was torn by dissent. As he re-creates the actual events, Roberts lays bare Herzog's self-serving determination and bestows long-delayed credit to the most accomplished and unsung heroes. These new revelations will inspire young adventurers and change forever the way we think about this victory in the mountains and the climbers who achieved it.
The bestselling author of No Shortcuts to the Top and K2 chronicles his three attempts to climb the world's tenth-highest and statistically deadliest peak, Annapurna in the Himalaya, while exploring the dramatic and tragic history of others who have made -- or attempted - the ascent, and what these exploits teach us about facing life's greatest challenges. As a high school student in the flatlands of Rockford, Illinois, where the highest objects on the horizon were water towers, Ed Viesturs read and was captivated by the French climber Maurice Herzog's famous and grisly account of the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. When he began his own campaign to climb the world's 14 highest peaks in the late 1980s, Viesturs looked forward with trepidation to undertaking Annapurna himself. Two failures to summit in 2000 and 2002 made Annapurna his nemesis. His successful 2005 ascent was the triumphant capstone of his climbing quest. In The Will To Climb Viesturs brings the extraordinary challenges of Annapurna to vivid life through edge-of-your-seat accounts of the greatest climbs in the mountain's history, and of his own failed attempts and eventual success. In the process he ponders what Annapurna reveals about some of our most fundamental moral and spiritual questions--questions, he believe, that we need to answer to lead our lives well. "Of all fourteen of the world's highest mountains, which I climbed between 1989 and 2005," writes Viesturs, "the one that came the closest to defeating my best efforts was Annapurna." Although it was the first 8,000-meter peak to be climbed, Annapurna is not as well known as the world's highest mountain, Everest, or second highest, K2. But as Viesturs argues, Annapurna, while not technically the most difficult of the 8,000ers, is the most daunting because it has no route--no ridge or face on any side of the mountain--that is relatively free of what climbers call "objective danger"--the threat of avalanches, above all, but also of collapsing seracs (huge ice blocks), falling rocks, and crevasses. Since its first ascent in 1950, Annapurna has been climbed by more than 130 people, but 53 have died trying. This high fatality rate makes Annapurna the most dangerous of the 8,000-meter peaks. Viesturs and co-author David Roberts chronicle Ed's three attempts to climb Annapurna, as well as the attempts of others, from the two French climbers who made the landmark first ascent of Annapurna on June 3, 1950, through the daring and tragic campaigns of such world-class mountaineers as Reinhold Messner and Anatoli Boukreev. Viesturs's accounts and analyses of these extraordinary adventures serve as a point of departure for his exploration of themes vividly illustrated by Annapurna expeditions, including obsession and commitment, fear and fulfillment, failure and triumph--issues that have been neglected in the otherwise very rich literature of mountaineering, and that can inform the lives and actions of everyone.From the Hardcover edition.
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