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Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge, and Hope Hardcover – October 17, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792261925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792261926
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard C. Blum, chairman of Blum Capital Partners and of the American Himalayan Foundation, led the 1980 Everest East Face Expedition and has maintained a long connection with Nepal and Tibet. In 1998, the Dalai Lama awarded him the Truth of Light Award for his charitable support of the people and environment of the Himalaya.

Erica Stone is president of the American Himalayan Foundation, dedicated to education, health care, cultural and environmental conservation work in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and with Tibetan refugees. She has an MBA from Berkeley.

Broughton Coburn has spent two of the past three decades in the Himalaya working in development, conservation, writing, and filmmaking. He is the author of five nonfiction books.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Peirce on November 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book would be worth buying for the photographs alone. There are well over 100 of them and nearly every one (as is appropriate for a National Geographic Society book) is of salon quality. But you shouldn't just look at the pictures. They are accompanied by 40 short pieces by a wide variety of people, each with a story to tell, either of how their life has been changed by their Himalayan experience, or how what they do is changing the life there. These are by leading Himalayan authorities in the climbing world (today's and yesterday's),in conservation, research, art restoration, human rights, development, and Buddhism. Among the authors are a former American president (Jimmy Carter) and a current US senator (Diane Feinstein), as well as leading Buddhist figures (including the Dalai Lama, who wrote one of the three introductory essays). You don't have to read all of these essays and yet, as you leaf through the book, you may find yourself doing just that. For one thing, they are short - two to three pages each. For another, these are personal stories, which means that in each case, the author connects himself with the subject he is describing, giving it an immediacy that it might otherwise lack. And for still another, they are talking about really interesting things - things like the region's problems, its wildlife, its earthquakes, its politics (a little bit), and - of course - their own experience there. The book has been produced by the National Geographic Society with the American Himalayan Foundation, and many of that organization's projects have been described. It is introduced by Richard Blum, who is its head and (with Erica Stone and Broughton Coburn) one of the book's three editors.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bibiana on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful essay book with stunning photography. The essays are from a diverse group - from world leaders to refugees, to mountain climbing legends. Together they tell the story of the Himalayas - its beauty, its culture, its challenges and the hope that so many people help to bring to this part of the world. I gave this book as a gift to many people for the holidays and everyone has mentioned to me that they have enjoyed reading it and it is often a conversation piece when people see it on the coffee table. I recommend it highly.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joyce A. Tapper on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My Himalayan book shelf and coffee tables already groan, but I ordered this National Geographic beauty immediately. All at once I was reminded of the depth of love and anxiety I have about these young mountains and these very old people. I learned a lot, even considering that I'm privileged to spend at least a month in Nepal and nearby countries once a year over the last decade. Photographs of masters, spiritual seekers, and people lovers lead the way to understanding the powerful impact of just being in the magic presence of the peaks. They soar beyond the clouds; the people strive for spiritual peaks and life goals too. In editing a series of short contemporary, highly relevant, but personal articles, Richard Blum, Erica Stone, and Brot Coburn show readers what can be seen and what can be done to reach out to help ease burdens there. Mountaineers, trekkers, and couch climbers, helpers and those looking for a cause, travelers, pilgrims, and all of us seeking greater human understanding will relish the guiding words of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Sir Edmund and Peter Hillary, and Lodi Gyalsten Gyari. Everyone who loves the Himalayas or wants to get to know them MUST HAVE this well rounded easy to read, glorious to see, summary of current times in and under the mountains of the Gods.

Joyce Tapper

Los Angeles
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pratyush Tiwary on December 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Himalaya is a collection of essays and photographs depicting the Himalayan peaks, the people living in the shadows of these peaks, and the needs and plights of these people. All the contributors have been very closely linked with the Himalayas. These include monks and native hillmen who were either born and brought up there, and then were typically forced to seek asylum in other countries, hardy mountaineers like Jim Whittaker, Ian Baker and the Hillary father and son pair, and famed Himalayaholics like Stan Armington and Matthieu Ricard.

The book invokes strong nostalgia if you have been to the Himalayas before, and wonderstruck awe if you haven't been there. Through the three sections titled Grandeur, Challenge and Hope, you will find yourself in a world of simple hard-working villagers, troubled by malicious forces beyond their powers, and in a world of wild blue sheep, fat and honest eyed yaks, and majestic snow leopards. Pioneering climbers describe how they realized their dreams of climbing the loftiest peaks in the Himalayas, and how these ascents turned them into altogether different humans. We get interesting accounts from famous wildlife conservationists as to what made them turn to the Himalayas, and how have they been carrying out their efforts in these extreme terrains for decades.

Many of the tales point out that the Himalayas are different from other mountain ranges not just because of their stupendous heights, but also due to the simplicity and genuineness of the people who have been living in its valleys and snow-covered meadows for thousands of years. Some of the views in the book are so orthodox that you might laugh them off at first, for instance, consider opposition to building roads in undeveloped regions in the mountains.
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