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Fallen Giants Receives Banff Mountain Book Festival Award

Isserman Tome Also Recognized by National Outdoor Book Awards

By Vige Barrie  |  Contact Vige Barrie 315-859-4623
Posted November 13, 2008
Tags Hamilton In the News
The Banff Mountain Book Festival awarded Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes the 2008 Best Book — Mountaineering History award. David Chaundy-Smart, who reviewed the book on the Banff Festival site, described the book as "an exhaustive and entertaining history of Himalayan mountaineering. This is a standard-setting work that credibly accounts for the struggle to summit the 8000 metre peaks with a seamless discussion of politics, economics and the development of climbing technique backed by a mind-boggling list of sources." Written by Maurice Isserman, the James L. Ferguson Professor of History, and University of Rochester professor Stewart Weaver, the book was selected from 113 entries from nine countries. Isserman accepted the award in Banff on Thursday, Nov. 6. 

The National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) also announced that Fallen Giants has been selected as a 2008 history/biography category winner. NOBA is, according to its Web site, the outdoor world's largest and most prestigious book award program and is sponsored by the NOBA Foundation, Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and Idaho State University. The purpose of the awards is to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and publishing 

In describing the book, NOBA's reviewer wrote, "A history tome isn't the type of book that you'd think of reading from cover to cover, but A History of Himalayan Mountaineering is the exception. Building upon an impressive body of research (notes and biographical entries alone occupy over 100 pages), authors Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver effortlessly move the reader from one era to another -- as easily as an accomplished climber might move from one rock pitch to another. This is an outstanding reference work, and if you enjoy mountaineering literature, it's clearly one for your book shelves." 

Fallen Giants was also reviewed the The Sunday Times (London) on Nov. 9. The reviewer, author Robert MacFarlane, wrote, "… as Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver show in their magnificent history, the Himalaya region was for a long time a landscape in which individuals acted out the clichés of their respective nations."

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