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Explorers and Adventurers

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After Everest : Inside the Private World of Edmund Hillary
by Paul Little Details
Exploring a character of paradoxes, this is the penetrating story of Edmund Hillary--the hero and the man. Edmund Hillary is not merely a New Zealand icon, but a world icon--a towering figure among adventurers. The interest in him and his family's dedication to making a contribution to the welfare of the Nepalese people is well known.
Cradle of Gold : The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones, and the Search for Machu Picchu
by Christopher Heaney Details
In 1911, a young Peruvian boy led an American explorer and Yale historian named Hiram Bingham into the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Hidden amidst the breathtaking heights of the Andes, this settlement of temples, tombs and palaces was the Incas' greatest achievement. Bingham made Machu Picchu famous, and his dispatches from the jungle cast him as the swashbuckling hero romanticized today as a true Indiana Jones-like character. Though Bingham successfully realized his dream of bringing Machu Picchu's treasure of skulls, bones and artifacts back to the United States, conflict between Yale and Peru persists through the present day over a simple question: Who owns Inca history? Drawing on original research in untapped archives, Heaney vividly portrays both a stunning landscape and the complex history of a fascinating region that continues to inspire awe and controversy today.
Eighty Days : Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World
by Matthew Goodman Details
On November 14, 1889, two young female journalists raced against one another, determined to outdo Jules Verne's fictional hero and circle the globe in less than 80 days. The dramatic race that ensued would span 28,000 miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors' lives forever.
Light This Candle : the Life and Times of Alan Shepard, America's First Spaceman
by Neal Thompson Details
Alan Shepard was the brashest, cockiest, and most flamboyant of America's original Mercury Seven, but he was also regarded as the best. Intense, colorful, and dramatic - the man who hit a golf ball on the moon - he was among the most private of America's public figures and, until his death in 1998, he guarded the story of his life zealously. Light This Candle, based on Neal Thompson's exclusive access to private papers and interviews with Shepard's family and closest friends offers a riveting, action-packed account of Shepard's life. Among the first men to fly off aircraft carriers, he was one of the most fearless test pilots. He endured long separations from his devoted wife and three daughters to fly dangerous missions, working his way up the ranks despite clashes with authority over his brazen flying maneuvers and penchant for risky pranks. Hugely competitive, he beat out John Glenn for the first Mercury spaceflight and then overcame a rare illness to return to space again on Apollo 14. He took every challenge head-on and seemed to win every time.
Magnificent Desolation : the Long Journey Home from the Moon
by Buzz Aldrin Details
Although Apollo 11 made Aldrin a famous person as he described the "alien world" of moon and space as "magnificent desolation," his celebrity status led to both personal trials and triumphs back on earth. "The twin demons of depression and alcoholism emerged-- the first of which Aldrin confronted early and publicly, and the second of which he met with denial until it nearly killed him." He describes the failure of two marriages and renewal once he gained sobriety and a new love of his life, a woman named Lois.
Pink Boots and a Machete : My Journey from NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer
by Mireya Mayor Details
A quick examination of her roots, and one may never have guessed that Mireya Mayor would become the woman she is today. Yet, against all odds, this self-professed former "girly girl" daughter of overprotective Cuban immigrants blossomed from NFL cheerleader to Fulbright Scholar to field scientist and ultimately, quintessential adventurer. Now, with more than a decade's worth of thrilling exploits under her belt, Mayor recounts her life in a riveting, awe-inspiring new book. Readers have the rare opportunity to follow the renowned primatologist around the globe as she unlocks the mysteries of the natural world and endeavors to save some of the planet's rarest creatures.
The Last of His Kind : the Life and Adventures of Bradford Washburn, America's Boldest Mountaineer
by David Roberts Details
Unquestionably regarded as the greatest mountaineer in Alaskan history and as one of the finest mountain photographers of all time, Washburn transformed American attitudes toward wilderness and revolutionized the art of mountaineering and exploration in the great ranges. In The Last of His Kind, National Geographic Adventure contributing editor David Roberts goes beyond conventional biography to reveal the essence of this man through the prism of his extraordinary exploits from New England to Chamonix, the Himalaya to the Yukon. Washburn's remarkable achievements - including nine first ascents of North American peaks -would stamp him not only as one of a kind, but as one of a kind they don't make anymore.
The Last Viking : the Life of Roald Amundsen
by Stephen R. Bown Details
The Last Viking unravels the life of the man who stands head and shoulders above all those who raced to map the last corners of the world. In 1900, the four great geographical mysteries--the Northwest Passage, the Northeast Passage, the South Pole, and the North Pole--remained blank spots on the globe. Within twenty years Roald Amundsen would claim all four prizes. Renowned for his determination and technical skills, both feared and beloved by his men, Amundsen is a legend of the heroic age of exploration, which shortly thereafter would be tamed by technology, commerce, and publicity. F├ęted in his lifetime as an international celebrity, pursued by women and creditors, he died in the Arctic on a rescue mission for an inept rival explorer.
The Travels of Marco Polo
by Marco Polo Details
Marco Polo's account of his journey throughout the East in the thirteenth century was one of the earliest European travel narratives, and it remains the most important. The merchant-traveler from Venice, the first to cross the entire continent of Asia, provided us with accurate descriptions of life in China, Tibet, India, and a hundred other lands, and recorded customs, natural history, strange sights, historical legends, and much more. From the dazzling courts of Kublai Khan to the perilous deserts of Persia, no book contains a richer magazine of marvels than the Travels.
Updated 04/01/2014
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