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Wade Davis

Wade Davis is a scientist, anthropologist, photographer, best selling author as well as being Explorer in Residence with National Geographic. 

One of his books this year is titled Into the Silence: The Great Way, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest. It's a book that Wade researched for over twelve years, in countries around the world.

In it he tells the story of George Mallory's epic attempts to climb Everest in the early 1920's. He also takes us to the time before the climb, to the trenches of World War 1 to show the links he finds between the imperial ambitions of European countries and the drive to climb Everest.

Here is an excerpt from a review in the Guardian newspaper by Geoff Dyer:

Still more impressive is the way Davis depicts the meeting of incompatible belief systems. While the British see the mountain as an obstacle to be overcome (by sheer force of Britishness if necessary), the opinion of their Tibetan hosts - that the spirits of the mountain, if not sufficiently appeased, will hurl them from its side - comes to seem just as plausible. It would be a mistake, however, to see one outlook as "spiritual" and the other as pragmatic. The Tibetans, quite reasonably, can't see any point in climbing the mountain; the British, in turn, are animated by a "mystic patriotism" that is itself a kind of delirium.

Wade Davis

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