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Into Thin Air
by Jon Krakauer

Language

English

Pages

368

Publication Date

November 12, 1998

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>National Bestseller </b><br /><br />A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for <b>Into Thin Air</b>, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.<br /><br />By writing <b>Into Thin Air</b>, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself. <br /><br />This updated edition of <b>Into Thin Air</b> includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy.  "I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since <b>Into Thin Air</b>'s denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored <b>The Climb</b>, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I. <br /><br />In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters--a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment."  According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.  His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind."
Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage o...
by Jim Donovan

Language

English

Pages

465

Publication Date

March 12, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<div><div><b>"This is the best book on Apollo that I have read. Extensively researched and meticulously accurate, it successfully traces not only the technical highlights of the program but also the contributions of the extraordinary people who made it possible." -Mike Collins, command module pilot, Apollo 11</b></div><div><br /></div><div>When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon's surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out...</div><div><br /></div><div><div>ON JULY 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world's greatest technological achievements-and a triumph of American spirit and ingenuity-the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, <i>Shoot for the</i></div><div><i>Moon</i> is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it. From the shock of Sputnik and the heart-stopping final minutes of John Glenn's Mercury flight to the deadly whirligig of Gemini 8, the doomed Apollo 1 mission, and that perilous landing on the Sea of Tranquility-when the entire world held its breath while Armstrong and Aldrin battled computer alarms, low fuel, and other problems- James Donovan tells the whole story. </div><div><br /></div><div>Both sweeping and intimate, <i>Shoot for the Moon</i> is "a powerfully written and irresistible celebration" (<i>Booklist</i>, starred review) of one of humankind's most extraordinary feats of exploration.</div></div></div>
Never Quit: From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefi...
by , Don Rearden

Language

English

Pages

317

Publication Date

March 07, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>“That Others May Live” is a mantra that defines the fearless men of Alaska’s 212th Pararescue Unit, the PJs, one of the most elite military forces on the planet. Whether they are rescuing citizens injured and freezing in the Alaskan wilderness or saving wounded Rangers and SEALS in blazing firefights at war, the PJs are the least known and most highly trained of America’s warriors. </p><p><i>Never Quit</i> is the true story of how Jimmy Settle, an Alaskan shoe store clerk, became a Special Forces Operator and war hero. After being shot in the head during a dangerous high mountain operation in the rugged Watapur Valley in Afghanistan, Jimmy returns to battle with his teammates for a heroic rescue, the bullet fragments stitched over and still in his skull. In a cross between a suicide rescue mission and an against-all-odds mountain battle, his team of PJs risk their lives again in an epic firefight. When his helicopter is hit and begins leaking fuel, Jimmy finds himself in the worst possible position as a rescue specialist—forced to leave members from his own team behind. Jimmy will have to risk everything to get back into the battle and bring back his brothers.</p><p>From death-defying Alaskan wilderness training, wild rescues, and vicious battles against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, this is an explosive special operations memoir unlike any that has come before, and the true story of a man from humble beginnings who became an American hero.</p>
Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer

Language

English

Pages

231

Publication Date

September 21, 2009

Product Description
Customer Reviews
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of <i>Into the Wild</i>.<br /><br />Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.<br /><br />Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.<br /><br />When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, <i>Into the Wild</i> is a <i>tour de force</i>. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Ope...
by Stephen E. Ambrose

Language

English

Pages

538

Publication Date

April 23, 2013

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>From the <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Band of Brothers</i> and <i>D-Day</i>, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.</b><BR><BR>In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.<BR> <BR>Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson’s. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.<BR> <BR>High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last Tr...
by Michael Finkel

Language

English

Pages

226

Publication Date

March 07, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.</b> <br /><br /><b>A <i>New York Times</i> bestseller</b><br /><br />In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing

Language

English

Pages

292

Publication Date

April 29, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole, one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age.</b><br /> <br />In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the <i>Endurance </i>and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the <i>Endurance </i>became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.<br /> <br />In <i>Endurance</i>, the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.<br />
First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong
by James R. Hansen

Language

English

Pages

784

Publication Date

October 18, 2005

Product Description
Customer Reviews
Marking the forty-fifth anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing, <I >First Man</I> by James Hansen offers the only authorized glimpse into the life of America’s most famous astronaut, Neil Armstrong—the man whose “one small step” changed history.<BR><BR>“The Eagle has landed.”<BR> <BR>When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the moon became a legend. In <I >First Man</I>, Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this “magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century” (<I >Publishers Weekly</I>, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.<BR> <BR>Upon his return to earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also—as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important biography—misunderstood. Armstrong’s accomplishments as engineer, test pilot, and astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen’s unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over. <BR> <BR>In a riveting narrative filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. These milestones made it seem, as Armstrong’s mother Viola memorably put it, “as if from the very moment he was born—farther back still—that our son was somehow destined for the Apollo 11 mission.”<BR> <BR>For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the forty-five years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life. <BR> <BR>In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the <I >First Man</I>, as an astronaut and as an individual. In <I >First Man</I>, the personal, technological, epic, and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history’s most famous space traveler.
Brave Companions
by David McCullough

Language

English

Pages

258

Publication Date

May 31, 2007

Product Description
Customer Reviews
From Alexander von Humboldt to Charles and Anne Lindbergh, these are stories of people of great vision and daring whose achievements continue to inspire us today, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.<BR><BR>The bestselling author of <i>Truman</i> and <i>John Adams,</i> David McCullough has written profiles of exceptional men and women past and present who have not only shaped the course of history or changed how we see the world but whose stories express much that is timeless about the human condition.<BR> <BR>Here are Alexander von Humboldt, whose epic explorations of South America surpassed the Lewis and Clark expedition; Harriet Beecher Stowe, “the little woman who made the big war”; Frederic Remington; the extraordinary Louis Agassiz of Harvard; Charles and Anne Lindbergh, and their fellow long-distance pilots Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Beryl Markham; Harry Caudill, the Kentucky lawyer who awakened the nation to the tragedy of Appalachia; and David Plowden, a present-day photographer of vanishing America.<BR> <BR>Different as they are from each other, McCullough’s subjects have in common a rare vitality and sense of purpose. These are brave companions: to each other, to David McCullough, and to the reader, for with rare storytelling ability McCullough brings us into the times they knew and their very uncommon lives.
Escalante's Dream: On the Trail of the Spanish Discovery of the S...
by David Roberts

Language

English

Pages

341

Publication Date

July 16, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>Famed adventure writer David Roberts retraces the route of the legendary Domínguez-Escalante expedition.</strong></p><br /><p>In July 1776 a pair of Franciscan friars, Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante, were charged by the governor of New Mexico with discovering a route across the unknown Southwest to the new Spanish colony in California. They had other goals as well, some of them secret: converting the indigenous natives along the way to the true faith, discovering a semi-mythical paradise known as Teguayó, hunting for sources of gold and silver, and paving the way for Spanish settlements from Santa Fe to Monterey.</p><br /><p>In strict terms, the expedition failed. Running out of food and beset by an early winter, the twelve-man team gave up in what is now western Utah. The retreat to Santa Fe became an ordeal of survival. The men were reduced to eating their own horses while they searched for a crossing of the raging Colorado River in Glen Canyon. Seven months after setting out, Domínguez and Escalante staggered back to Santa Fe. Yet in the course of their 1,700-mile voyage, the explorers discovered more land unknown to Europeans than Lewis and Clark would encounter a quarter-century later.</p><br /><p>Other writers, using Escalante’s brilliant and quirky diary as a guide, have retraced the expedition route, but David Roberts is the first to dig beneath its pages to question and ponder every turn of the team’s decision-making and motivation. Roberts weaves the personal and the historical narratives into a gripping journey of discovery through the magnificent American Southwest.</p>

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