We Aspired: The Last Innocent Americans

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sinclair, a former climber and ranger at Grand Teton National Park in the 1960s and now a professor of English at Evergreen State College, has written a book mainly for mountaineers, a memoir of how some young men of the post-World War II generation found themselves in the mountains out West. His dramatic, well-told narrative encompasses a climb up Mt. McKinley in Alaska, a sometimes perilous trek to Mexico and many tales of life as a ranger, including some poignant and not always successful rescue efforts. As a Dartmouth '58 dropout influenced by political activist Allard Lowenstein, Sinclair went to Wyoming, where, after living as a ski bum, he embraced rescue work as a way to make his contribution to society and found many virtues in mountain-culture camaraderie. Sinclair ultimately left Wyoming for academia and parenthood; his son, without any push from his father, has also sought out the ``sacred'' mountains. Sinclair's subtitle seems a bit broad, but he suggests, with a measure of conviction, that his was a generation ``that aspired to be heroes but ended up in the hero business.'' Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Library Journal
The golden age of American climbing lasted a mere dozen years, during which it burgeoned in several centers, one of them the Tetons. Sinclair's (English, Evergreen State Coll.) account is an autobiographical history of that time and place. The book is worth considering for purchase for several reasons. First, as the work of a literate, intelligent writer, it explains more clearly than any other recent mountaineering book why climbers climb. Also, it deals with a decade, 1959-69, when all serious climbers knew each other. Finally, it reports on one aspect of climbing that no other book does: mountain rescue. This is recommended for most libraries.-- Paula M. Strain, MLS, Rockville, Md.
Sinclair (English, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington) writes of his adventures on Mt. McKinley, The Tetons, Mexico, and his years of employment as a ranger at Grand Teton National Park. His writing is witty, clear, even elegant. The period, 1959 to 1970, saw the stirring of American interest in rock climbing, and the Tetons as a special place to meet other climbers, practice and polish technique. Fine book. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781879415393
  • Publisher: Mountain n' Air Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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