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The World Beneath Their Feet

The World Beneath Their Feet

Longlisted for the 2020 William Hill Sports Book of the Year

‘A gripping history’ THE ECONOMIST



‘The World Beneath Their Feet contains plenty of rollicking stories’ THE TIMES

‘Gripping’
THE SUNDAY TIMES

‘So far as adventure stories go, this book is tops.’ Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

‘[Ellsworth] recasts the era as a great Himalayan race…[and] it works brilliantly…his account of the 1953 ascent of Everest…feels unusually fresh’ THE SUNDAY TIMES

‘Like if Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air met Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken … an inviting and engrossing read’ SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

One of the most compelling international dramas of the 20th century and an unforgettable saga of survival, technological innovation, and breathtaking human physical achievement-all set against the backdrop of a world headed toward war.



While tension steadily rose between European powers in the 1930s, a different kind of battle was raging across the Himalayas. Contingents from Great Britain, Nazi Germany, and the United States had set up rival camps at the base of the mountains, all hoping to become recognized as the fastest, strongest, and bravest climbers in the world.

Carried on across nearly the entire sweep of the Himalayas, this contest involved not only the greatest mountain climbers of the era, but statesmen and millionaires, world-class athletes and bona fide eccentrics, scientists and generals, obscure villagers and national heroes.

Centered in the 1930s, with one brief, shining postwar coda, the contest was a struggle between hidebound traditionalists and unknown innovators, one that featured new techniques and equipment, unbelievable courage and physical achievement, and unparalleled valor. And death. One Himalayan peak alone, Nanga Parbat in Kashmir, claimed twenty-five lives in less than three years.

Climbing the Himalayas was the Greatest Generation’s moonshot–one shrouded in the onset of war, interrupted by it, and then fully accomplished. A gritty, fascinating history that promises to enrapture fans of Hampton Side, Jon Krakauer, and Laura Hillenbrand, The World Beneath Their Feet brings this forgotten story back to life.
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Genre: Humanities / History / Military History / Second World War

On Sale: 20th February 2020

Price: £25

ISBN-13: 9781473649620

Reviews

Like if Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air met Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken, it's an inviting and engrossing read
Sports Illustrated
The dramatic saga of the race between nations to climb the planet's highest mountains...In vivid, novelistic prose, the author describes the significant expeditions and delivers engaging portraits of climbers from many different countries and their invaluable Sherpas
Kirkus
An exceptional account of trailblazing mountaineers who persevered during a turbulent time in history
Booklist
Gripping
Sunday Times
Plenty of rollicking stories
The Times
A vibrant glimpse into a period of wild adventure
BBC History
World Beneath Their Feet is a thrilling new account of the struggle to conquer the towering Himalayan mountains. It begins in the late 1920s after the death of the great mountaineer George Mallory, who disappeared in the vast wastes of Mount Everest in 1924, and continues for the next twenty five years under the looming shadow of World War II, as teams of aristocrats, athletes, tough guys and screwballs attacked the snow-covered Himalayan peaks for the honor of their countries and their personal glory. According to author Scott Ellsworth, there was a passionate competition between climbers from Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States-as well as Japan, Italy, and Switzerland-to be the first atop Everest... So far as adventure stories go, this book is tops.
Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump