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Item #: BK1399-614
HARRY'S ABSENCE: LOOKING FOR MY FATHER ON THE MOUNTAIN [MOUNT COOK] Jonathan Scott 2000 1st ed Hardcover DJ New
By Scott, Jonathan
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New York, 2000, 1st US edition. 223 pp, b/w photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. New.

In 1960, 41-year-old Harry Scott died in a climbing accident near the summit of Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain--leaving behind a pregnant wife and two children. In 1993, Harry's son Jonathan, who was two at the time of the accident (and is now a historian at Downing College in England), discovered a box of his father's papers: poems, short stories, letters, voice recordings and academic publications (Harry was a psychology professor at Auckland University).
 
The most interesting document in this trove was Harry's 100-page account of his intellectual and emotional development during his detention in a WWII camp for conscientious objectors. Scott writes, alternately, about his own life and his father's. He learns, most importantly, that Harry tested himself on the mountain to prove that his political principles were born of strength, not weakness--to prove that "the courage of the pacifist, and of the climber, were the same." While the book's subtitle is misleading (this is not a narrative about mountaineering, in fact the discovery of Harry's body on Mount Cook is recounted only briefly), it is a moving memoir of son in search of his father. 

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