Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing

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Roland Huntford's brilliant history begins 20,000 years ago in the last ice age on the icy tundra of an unformed earth. Man is a travelling animal, and on these icy slopes skiing began as a means of survival.

That it has developed into the leisure and sporting pursuit of choice by so much of the globe bears testament to its elemental appeal. In polar exploration, it has changed the course of history. Elsewhere, in war and peace, it has done so too. The origins of skiing are ...

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London 2009 Paperback Very Good. No Dj 8vo. pp. xiv 436. 'Predating the wheel, the ski has played an important role in our history. This is brilliantly brought to life in this ... engaging book. Roland Huntford's brilliant history begins 20, 000 years ago in the last ice age on the icy tundra of an unformed earth. Man is a traveling animal, and on these icy slopes skiing began as a means of survival. That it has developed into the leisure and sporting pursuit of choice by so much of the globe bears testament to its elemental appeal. In polar exploration, it has changed the course of history. Elsewhere, in war and peace, it has done so too. The origins of skiing are bound up with the emergence of modern man and the world we live in today. " Read more Show Less

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Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing

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Overview

Roland Huntford's brilliant history begins 20,000 years ago in the last ice age on the icy tundra of an unformed earth. Man is a travelling animal, and on these icy slopes skiing began as a means of survival.

That it has developed into the leisure and sporting pursuit of choice by so much of the globe bears testament to its elemental appeal. In polar exploration, it has changed the course of history. Elsewhere, in war and peace, it has done so too. The origins of skiing are bound up in with the emergence of modern man and the world we live in today.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

BBC History Magazine
Roland Huntford’s book is an amazingly detailed history of skiing’s Scandinavian origins.
The Guardian
The most in-depth study of skiing currently in the English language and it will no doubt remain the defining record for some time.
The Independent on Sunday
this is a deeply scholarly work ... Fortunately scholarly in this instance is not synonymous with dull ... Huntford manages to bind a wealth of material together with a strong narrative thread.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441134011
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/10/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Roland Huntford is the world's foremost authority on the polar expeditions and their protagonists. He is the author of the award-winning Two Planks and a Passion: the Dramatic History of Skiing and Scott and Amundsen: Last Place on Earth and he is the biographer of Shackleton and Nansen. He was the Scandinavian correspondent on The Observer for many years.

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Table of Contents

Preface, Acknowledgements

Note, Maps

1 Skiing Necesse Est

2 Ski Tracks in the Milky Way

3 The Earliest Written Sources

4 The Finnish National Epic Kalevala

5 The First Printed

6 Norway - the Cradle of Skiing as a Sport

7 The Influence of Rousseau

8 The Ski in Foreign Literature

9 Evolution of Skiing as a Sport

10 The Men of Telemark

11 Development of Technique and Equipment

12 The First Nordic Marathon

13 The Conquest of the Mountain World

14 Fridtjof Nansen and the first crossing of Greenland

15 The Nordic Olympia

16 The Waisted Telemark Ski

17 The Rise of Ski Touring and the misadventures of Roald Amundsen

18 As Important as the Plays of Ibsen

19 The Spread of Skiing on the Continent

20 Norwegians Bring Skiing to Austria-Hungary and Montenegro

21 Skiing Comes to Switzerland

22 Davos: Cradle of the Ski Resort

23 The English Skiing at Davos

24 Mathias Zdarsky

25 St. Moritz

26 Skiing in France

27 Polar Exloration

28 The Inventions that Founded Modern Skiing

29 The New World

30 The Study of Snow Structure

31 The First Winter Olympics at Chamonix

32 Mass Winter Tourism

33 The International Recognition of Downhill Skiing

34 Skiing Mechanised and Politicised

35 Military Skiing

36 Skiing Since 1945

Bibliography

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good information, poor execution

    "Two Planks and a Passion" contains a wealth of information for skiing enthusiasts, but the writing and editing left much to be desired. I am a fan of Mr. Huntford's polar exploration books and expected the same care to be given to the sport for which we share a passion - what I found was a book that jumped from one era to another and one character to another with little cohesion. Add to the mix a number of mechanical errors (punctuation , grammar) that are frequent enough to be distracting. Mr. Huntford tends to overstate the contributions of some (mostly Norwegian) players and dismiss others (mostly non-Norwegian) too easily. If you love skiing, it is worth the read - if you do not, this may be a heavy plod.

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