La Place de la Concorde Suisse is John McPhee's rich, journalistic study of the Swiss Army's role in Swiss society. The Swiss Army is so quietly efficient at the art of war that the Isrealis carefully patterned their own military on the Swiss model.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Product dimensions:||6.18(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.86(d)|
About the Author
John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written nearly 30 books, including Oranges (1967), Coming into the Country (1977), The Control of Nature (1989), The Founding Fish (2002), Uncommon Carriers (2007), and Silk Parachute (2011). Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Hometown:Princeton, New Jersey
Date of Birth:March 8, 1931
Place of Birth:Princeton, New Jersey
Education:A.B., Princeton University, 1953; graduate study at Cambridge University, 1953-54
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had no idea, this was really cool.
another McPhee jewel. almost makes me want to own a Swiss Army knife. Jaw-dropping information; I was a mouth-breather for two hours. McPhee's incredible writing style must have afforded him license to secrets from the inscrutable Swiss
In German, La Place de la Concorde Suisse is rendered Concordiaplatz, and it is visible from the Jungfraujoch, which means ¿virgin saddle,¿ and which is reached via funicular railway from Interlaken. Depending upon the season, one can either hike or ski from the Jungfraujoch down the Aletsch glacier to Concordiaplatz and view the redoubt containing the sunken armory described in McPhee¿s book. There may even be a visible contingent of soldiers guarding and maintaining it, just as their brethren maintain the explosives stashed in the outerworks of all key bridges in the country, or inspect the radar installations on key peaks such as the Weissflühgipfel above Davos. As one who lived and worked in Switzerland for eight years, and whose published memoir, Living Among The Swiss, is listed on this website, I can attest to the accuracy of McPhee¿s account. Most of my business colleagues were required to take annual two- or three-week military leaves, and one sees soldiers everywhere: on trains, in ski resorts, along low and vulnerable mountain passes such as those north of Sargans, and, increasingly, at airports. Their efficiency of organization has been admired not only by the Israelis, who imitated it, but also by the Russian defense minister, and McPhee accurately captures their esprit de corps ¿ in the process expanding, as usual, the reader¿s vocabulary.