Into the Silence

Into the Silence

The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest

Book - 2011
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Random House, Inc.
On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Mount Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber. Sandy Irvine was a young Oxford scholar of twenty-two with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned.

In this magisterial work of history and adventure, based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian, and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet, Wade Davis vividly re-creates British climbers’ epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s. With new access to letters and diaries, Davis recounts the heroic efforts of George Mallory and his fellow climbers to conquer the mountain in the face of treacherous terrain and furious weather.Into the Silence sets their remarkable achievements in sweeping historical context: Davis shows how the exploration originated in nineteenth-century imperial ambitions, and he takes us far beyond the Himalayas to the trenches of World War I, where Mallory and his generation found themselves and their world utterly shattered. In the wake of the war that destroyed all notions of honor and decency, the Everest expeditions, led by these scions of Britain’s elite, emerged as a symbol of national redemption and hope.

Beautifully written and rich with detail, Into the Silence is a classic account of exploration and endurance, and a timeless portrait of an extraordinary generation of adventurers, soldiers, and mountaineers the likes of which we will never see again.

Baker & Taylor
A vivid account of Britain's epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s draws on the letters and diaries of George Mallory to trace such topics as the role of 19th-century imperial ambition in the expedition and the way in which the ascent reflected England's post-World War I redemption efforts. By the award-winning author of The Serpent and the Rainbow. 75,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

Describes British climbers' attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s, discussing such topics as the role of imperial ambition in the expedition and the way in which the ascent reflected England's post-World War I redemption efforts.

Publisher: New York : A. Knopf, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375408892
0375408894
Branch Call Number: B MALLORY
Characteristics: 655 p

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HowardWilliams
Feb 01, 2016

Excellently written, extensively researched. How did the WWI get to be so poorly fought, what were the Brits thinking? Good to see Wheeler's (Canadian) contribution to Mallory's first attempt so well documented.

KCLSLibsRecommend Apr 10, 2014

I recommend Wade Davis' book for omnivores with an interest in any of the following: uncharted exploration, larger-than-life characters, a world changing at unprecedented speed, World War I, climbing, Tibetan Buddhism, technology, politics, social class, empires rising and falling, and more.

It sounds chaotic but Davis weaves it all together so well that before you tire of one topic, another rises to catch your attention.

Spoiler alert on a few good stories: one of the principal Everest explorers had both legs nearly severed in World War I - his physician advised him to avoid walking uphill.

Another climber previously explored the source of the Nile and averted a rhino charge by opening a pink umbrella in its face. The lucky pink umbrella also survived the trip to Tibet (they don't make 'em like that any more)

v
voltaire10
Oct 30, 2013

A great book to read before Remembrance Day to be reminded of the sacrifices made by Allied soldiers during the First World War. Wade Davis provides a great story, very well researched, that describes in detail what was an act of "imperial redemption" following wartime destruction. A great read...

m
MonicaKT
Jul 29, 2013

Excellent book! Wade Davis researched for 10 years to complete this book - lots of detail and very interesting - still leaves you wondering if Mallory & Irvine ever reached the summit of Everest.

stephotography Jul 10, 2013

Though I agree with other readers that this is, indeed, an excellent account of the early exploration of Tibet and Everest, I found the book to be long and at times rambling. There are points where the story slows down to a crawl, the story was often bogged down extraneous, unnecessary detail -some of the gory details of the early Afgan wars could have been easily omitted. I am an avid reader of all things related to Everest, and yet I found this book didn't meet my expectations.

WVMLStaffPicks Jun 04, 2013

For those who enjoy reading about mountaineering expeditions, this book delivers epic adventure, tragedy, and a detailed look at the social and historical context. From the days of the “Great Game” to the aftermath of World War I, this book captures an era. George Mallory and most of the other climbers were products of the British public school system—extraordinarily tough athletes who wrote poetry, painted, spoke numerous languages, and tackled Everest in wool coats and leather boots. Having endured the horror of the trenches, the quest to conquer Everest was a search for renewal and redemption for the climbers as well their country.

l
librarianatlarge
Dec 26, 2012

Well researched, well written. Very detailed, especially in the latter part of the book. The chapters on the War are absolutely horrific and illuminate the development of the character and mind set of the men that set off into the unknown in Asia. Doesn't explain the modern people that still climb Everest, though. It is truly amazing that those men were able to achieve what they did with the technology and equipment they had available to them. An enjoyable read and an interesting thesis, though I found myself skipping over much of the minute detail of the treks into the mountains. For anyone interested in George Mallory and Everest, this is an illuminating read.

rsmbarlow Nov 23, 2012

A fantastic book. There are a lot of facets - history, adventure, psychology to name a few. It's long read but really rewarding and definitely deserved the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize in Non-Fiction. Thanks Wade Davis!

h
hajt3
Jul 14, 2012

detailed personal accounts, in depth research, politics involved, international relations, symbolism post WWI, first hand horrendous accounts of the meaningless and folly of war, decisions made that changed the outcome, endurance and perseverance, extreme hardship some people can endure, adventurous spirit, imperialism, commercialism

b
btwofracas
May 25, 2012

Is there a e-book version?

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