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BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROPE: THE BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES HOUSTON Bernadette McDonald Paperback Fine
By McDonald, Bernadette
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Seattle, The Mountaineers, 2007. Paperback with CD. Fine.

Finalist for the 2007 Boardman Tasker prize.

It was a failed summit attempt and a failed rescue in the Himalaya that brought Charles Houston, M.D., fame and adulation in the mountaineering world. His leadership of the K2 expedition of 1953 is still celebrated as the embodiment of all that is right and good in the mountains. Finalist for the 2007 Boardman Tasker prize.

This biography is unlike any other we have read in the literature. Although those of us who know Charlie through mountaineering or high altitude research hold him in the highest regard, his personal and medical career was as checkered as any of us. He faced many personal and professional disappointments and self doubts, and has allowed Bernadette to tell his story with more candor and self revelation than is found in even the most revealing exposes. Frankly, this book is absolutely remarkable, and will create quite a buzz in the mountaineering community.
 
In Brotherhood of the Rope, Bernadette McDonald traces the development of an American hero. Houston is a mountaineer whose groundbreaking medical experiments on altitude and the human body helped calibrate the nation's WWII air-assault strategy and shorten the war. This is the man personally recruited by Sergeant Shriver to lead the first Peace Corps programs in India; the friend whom Bill Moyers credits with saving his life; the physician who built some of the first artificial-heart prototypes in his garage. Houston was a leading authority in high-altitude medicine, and serves as a mentor for troubled teens. He died in 2009.
 

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