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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529319521

Price: £21.99

ON SALE: 20th February 2020

Genre: Humanities / History / Military History / Second World War

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The stories of the extraordinary men and women – the athletes, aristocrats, opportunists and oddballs – who launched the race to the roof of the world.

From 1931 to 1953, there was a race like no other. It was a race to the top of the world-a race primarily between Great Britain, Nazi Germany, and the United States.

Carried on across nearly the entire sweep of the Himalayas, it 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. Centred 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 derring-do. And death. One Himalayan peak alone, Nanga Parbat in Kashmir, claimed twenty-five lives in less than three years. Fuelled by deep national needs, the great Himalayan race captured the attention of the world. British superiority, German innovation, American determination and the wonder of Sherpas dominated the newsreels, radio broadcasts, books and magazines of the age.

The World Beneath Their Feet will bring this forgotten story back to life. It will resurrect what was, in fact, one of the most compelling international dramas of the 1930s, a saga of survival, technology, and some of the most breathtaking human physical achievements, and athletes, ever known, all set against the backdrop of a world headed toward war.

(P) 2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd


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
An exceptional account of trailblazing mountaineers who persevered during a turbulent time in history
Sunday Times
Plenty of rollicking stories
The Times
[Ellsworth] recasts the era as a great Himalayan race ... [and] it works brilliantly ... his account of the 1953 ascent of Everest ... feels unusually fresh
Sunday Times