Known for his lyrical writing and his ability to convey not only the dangers of mountaineering but the pure exaltation of the climb, Gaston R buffat is among the most well-known and revered Alpinists of all time. He rose to international prominence in 1950 as one of the four principal stalwarts in the first ascent of Annapurna, the highest mountain climbed at that time. Yet his finest feat as a mountaineer was to be the first man to climb all six of the legendary great north faces of the Alps--the Grandes Jorasses, the Piz Badile, the Dru, the Matterhorn, the Cima Grande di Lava-redo, and the Eiger. With this elegant book, first published in 1954, Gaston R buffat transformed mountain writing. His insistence on seeing a climb as an act of harmonious communion with the mountain, not a battle waged against it, seemed radical at the time, though R buffat's aesthetic has since won the day. Through storms, avalanches, rock fall, unplanned bivouacs, and even the deaths of companions, we follow the Chamonix guide to the altar of his communion, on dark, icy walls that struck terror into the hearts of Europe's finest mountaineers. Nor are these deft narratives mere recitations of dangers faced and obstacles overcome, for R buffat pays as keen attention to the joys of comradeship won on these faces as he does to the climbs themselves. In our own day of corporate sponsorships, online expeditions, and eco-vacations, the purity of R buffat's vision of the Alps as (in the epithet of the title of another of his books) an "enchanted garden" shines forth in prose as fresh and stylish as any ever lavished on mountaineering.
From the author of "A Venetian Affair "and "Lucia "comes a charming odyssey in the path of the mysterious Zen brothers, who explored parts of the New World a century before Columbus, and became both a source of scandal and a cause celebre among geographers in the following centuries.
This delightful journey begins with Andrea di Robilant's serendipitous discovery of a travel narrative published in Venice in 1558 by the Renaissance statesman Nicolo Zen: the text and its fascinating nautical map re-created the travels of two of the author's ancestors, brothers who explored the North Atlantic in the 1380s and 1390s. Di Robilant set out to discover why later, in the nineteenth century, the Zens' account came under attack as one of the greatest frauds in geographical history. Was their map--and even their journey--partially or perhaps entirely faked?
In "Irresistible North" the author follows the Zens' route from the Faeroes to Shetland to Iceland and Greenland, greeted by characters who help unravel the enigmas in the Zens' account. The medieval world comes to life as di Robilant guides us through a landscape enlivened by the ghosts of power-hungry earls and bishops of the old Norwegian realm and magical tales of hot springs and smoking mountains. In this rich telling--an original work of history and a travel book in one--the magnetism of the north draws us in as powerfully as it drew the Zen brothers more than six centuries ago.
How a lone man's epic obsession led to one of America's greatest cultural treasures: Prizewinning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history -- and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent's original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.
An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance -- ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.
His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. He completed his masterwork in 1930, when he published the last of the twenty volumes. A nation in the grips of the Depression ignored it. But today rare Curtis photogravures bring high prices at auction, and he is hailed as a visionary. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.
The bestselling author of "Blue Latitudes" takes us on a thrilling and eye-opening voyage to pre-Mayflower America
On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he's mislaid more than a century of American history, from Columbus's sail in 1492 to Jamestown's founding in 16-oh-something. Did nothing happen in between? Determined to find out, he embarks on a journey of rediscovery, following in the footsteps of the many Europeans who preceded the Pilgrims to America.
An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, "A Voyage Long and Strange" captures the wonder and drama of first contact. Vikings, conquistadors, French voyageurs these and many others roamed an unknown continent in quest of grapes, gold, converts, even a cure for syphilis. Though most failed, their remarkable exploits left an enduring mark on the land and people encountered by late-arriving English settlers.
Tracing this legacy with his own epic trek from Florida's Fountain of Youth to Plymouth's sacred Rock, from desert pueblos to subarctic sweat lodges Tony Horwitz explores the revealing gap between what we enshrine and what we forget. Displaying his trademark talent for humor, narrative, and historical insight, "A Voyage Long and Strange" allows us to rediscover the New World for ourselves."
From the best-selling author of Stanley, a riveting account of the explorers who risked everything in their search for the source of the NileNothing obsessed explorers of the mid-nineteenth century more than the quest to discover the source of the White Nile. It was the planet's most elusive secret, the prize coveted above all others. Between 1856 and 1876, six larger-than-life men and one extraordinary woman accepted the challenge. Showing extreme courage and resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, Samuel Baker, Florence von Sass, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and reputations in the fierce competition. Award-winning author Tim Jeal deploys fascinating new research to provide a vivid tableau of the unmapped "Dark Continent," its jungle deprivations, and the courage--as well as malicious tactics--of the explorers.
On multiple forays launched into east and central Africa, the travelers passed through almost impenetrable terrain and suffered the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, paralysis, malaria, deep spear wounds, and even death. They discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria and became the first white people to encounter the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro. Jeal weaves the story with authentic new detail and examines the tragic unintended legacy of the Nile search that still casts a long shadow over the people of Uganda and Sudan.
The airship's unclassified mission was an Office of Naval Research project. Objective: to assess the suitability of non-rigid airships (blimps) for support of field parties deployed throughout the North, ashore and afloat. That IGY August, BUNO 126719 crossed the Arctic Circle--the sole military airship ever to do so--en route to rendezvous with a U.S. Air Force ice-rafted camp (drifting station) in the Arctic Ocean. As "719" (delayed) pressed north, Nautilus pierced the geographic pole then without changing course logged the first-ever transit of the deep-ocean Arctic, Pacific to Atlantic.
Based on interviews and correspondence with dozens of participants, and on Navy Department reports, the work presents first-hand material throughout--a distinct contribution to the naval literature. Indeed, Arctic Mission may be the first in-depth (non-popular) account of the boat's epic cruise to 90 N. Further, the ONR expedition across Arctic Canada to IGY BRAVO (ice island T-3) is a singular unknown--even to naval aviators.
In 1955, Garcia Marquez was working for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, when in February of that year eight crew members of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, were washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later one of them turned up, barely alive, on a deserted beach in northern Colombia. This book, which originally appeared as a series of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal.Translated by Randolf Hogan.
For as far back as he can remember, Dallas Murphy has been sea-struck. Since he began to read, "besotted by salt-water dreams and nautical language," he studied the lore surrounding a place of mythic proportions: the ever-alluring Cape Horn. And after years of dreaming -- and sailing -- he finally made his voyage there. In this lively, thrilling blend of history, geography, and modern-day adventure, Murphy shows how the myth crossed wakes with his reality. Cape Horn is a buttressed pyramid of crumbly rock situated at the very bottom of South America -- 55 degrees 59 minutes South by 67 degrees 16 minutes West. It's a place of forlorn and foreboding beauty, one that has captured the dark imaginations of explorers and writers from Francis Drake to Joseph Conrad. For centuries, the small stretch of water between Cape Horn and the Antarctic peninsula was the only gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and it's a place where the storms are bigger, the winds stronger, the seas rougher than anywhere else on earth. Rounding the Horn is the ultimate maritime rite of passage, and in Murphy's hands, it becomes a thrilling, exuberant tour. Weaving together stories of his own nautical adventures with long-lost tales of those who braved the Cape before him -- from Spanish missionaries to Captain Cook -- and interspersed with breathtaking descriptions of the surrounding wilderness, the result is a beautifully crafted, immensely enjoyable read.