The Summits of Modern Man: Mountaineering after the Enlightenment (Hardback)Peter H. Hansen (author)
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Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 366
Weight: 757 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 30 mm
Peter H. Hansen has long been known to specialists in the field of climbing history as a tireless researcher, subtle theorist, and compelling storyteller. The publication of The Summits of Modern Man brings him to the summit of mountaineering scholarship.--Maurice Isserman, Hamilton College
[A] marvelous book...The Summits of Modern Man handily dispels rosy visions of the past...putting the lie to the contention that mountaineering was a once noble, principled pursuit that has only recently deteriorated.-- (06/09/2013)
In this treatise on peak bagging and its post-Enlightenment significance, Peter Hansen unearths stories with a crampon-like grip. We meet star summiteers such as Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat, who both ascended Mont Blanc in 1786; nineteenth-century 'golden age' alpine mountaineers like physical scientist John Tyndall; and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on Everest. But with today's retreating glaciers, Hansen reminds us that the idea of what it means to 'conquer' nature needs reconfiguring.-- (05/23/2013)
In his monumental work on mountaineering Peter Hansen explores the intricacies of climbing and theorizes on the act's social and psychological significance. The book under review is a serious engagement with men and mountains from the vantage points of social history, eco-critical theorizing and cultural geography...The Summits of Modern Man is a phenomenal achievement; it links facts, figures, and theory into one powerful and intriguing tale of the trekkers who ventured in to the vertical heights of mountains in search of solitude and victories...The Summits of Modern Man is not just another book on mountain climbing. It is an inquiry into the making of the modern world.-- (05/27/2013)
In this wide-ranging and subtle cultural history of climbing, Peter H. Hansen explores our evolving relationship with the rocky heights. At the center of this (beautifully presented) study is the paradox that mountaineering, the ultimate team pursuit, has been mythologized as an individualistic contest.-- (06/01/2013)
No one writes more interestingly about mountains and mountaineering than Peter Hansen. He is one of the best cultural historians of mountaineering out there.--Stewart Weaver, University of Rochester
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