By Maurice Herzog,

Book cover of Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak

Book description

Top 100 Sports Books of All Time, Sports Illustrated "Those who have never seen the Himalayas, those who never care to risk an assault, will know when they finish this book that they have been a companion of greatness."-New York Times Book Review In 1950, when no mountain taller than…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Annapurna as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Annapurna is a classic: a classic book about a classic climb. Annapurna is only the 10th highest mountain in the world, but it is the most dangerous of all 14 of the giants, those peaks over 8,000 meters. It should not even have been attempted under the circumstances described in this book. But never mind: the odds were utterly against success. No worries on that front; the French—they were the ones trying—were never going to be the first to summit a giant. Only no one told them. (Craig Storti’s forthcoming book retells this classic tale.)

Without Annapurna, I would have never climbed a mountain. It not only inspired my childhood but all the mountaineers who followed in author Maurice Herzog’s footsteps. Herzog was also a captain of the 27th BCA during World War II, the mountain battalion where I served as a Special Forces Mountain Commando in the 1980s—but that’s not why I picked this book. I can’t think of a better way to describe it than to quote my own memoir, I, Tarzan: Against All Odds:

It was a time before the modern mountaineering climbs masterfully described by Jon Krakauer and…

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