ABOUT THE BOOK
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ABOUT THE BOOK Most students are familiar with that sense of rising panic when, close to a deadline for a paper or the date of an exam, they realize that they know almost nothing about the subject at hand. Some students can take this situation in their stride, and some fall to pieces, getting lost amid the maze of books and tangling themselves…
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MEET THE AUTHOR
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Into Thin Air (1997) began as a 1996 article for Outside Magazine. Krakauer wanted to develop the story more fully, however, and thus was the book was born. Hed originally been assigned to examine the commercialization of Mt. Everest for the Outside article. That ended up being the focus of the story after all, but with a much more tragic outcome than he or his editors could have imagined.
For the article and subsequent book, Krakauer joined an expedition led by Rob Halls Adventure Consultants. During that season, a number of other expeditions were also on the mountain along with Krakauer and Hall, including Scott Fischers Mountain Madness. Both Hall and Fischer were killed in the May 1996 disaster, along with six other climbers.
Since its publication, Into Thin Air has been at the center of controversy surrounding Krakauers account of events, particularly in regards to questions about who was responsible for tragic errors made on the mountain. Much of the initial criticism of the book came from the Russian climbing guide Anatoli Boukreev, who disputed Krakauers depiction of him as neglecting his mountain guide duties. In response to Krakauers book, Boukreev published his own account of the tragedy, co-authored by G. Weston DeWalt, called The Climb (1997). In postscript to a later edition of Into Thin Air, Krakauer took up this debate and defended his account of the tragedy against Boukreevs criticism.
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