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Posted June 17, 2012
THE EXPLORERS JOURNAL, SUMMER 2012, BOOK REVIEW:
For those of you who have enjoyed James M. Clash’s “What Were They Thinking” column in The Explorers Journal, far more on those who have been at the top of their game in the realm of exploration can be found in his new e-book, “The Right Stuff: Interviews with Icons of the 1960s.” Of the baker’s dozen of interviews—with climbers, astronauts, and deep-ocean pioneers—ten are with illustrious members of The Explorers Club. Many of the often frank discussions reveal a candor and comfort with the extraordinary task at hand that landed each of these luminaries their rightful place on the exploration world stage. As he stood atop the roof of the world with Tenzing Norgay, the late Sir Edmund Hillary was far more fascinated by a potential route up Makalu, the fifth highest peak, than basking in the glory that the duo would soon enjoy as the first men atop Everest in 1953. And when asked about the risks associated with his historic first descent to Challenger Deep—at 10,916-meters the deepest place on Earth—Don Walsh responds, “terrifying is putting too strong a point on it. ...You can drown in a bathtub.” Perhaps most enlightening are the insights we gain into the mental processes each of the subjects went through to accomplish their goals. The e-book is the first in a series of volumes that will chart the exploration and adventure highlights of each decade down to the present. – Reviewed by Angela M.H. Schuster
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