By the author of the bestseller Everest: Mountain Without Mercy , this chronicle of the iconic first American expedition to Mt. Everest in May 1963--published to coincide with the climb's 50th anniversary--combines riveting adventure, a perceptive analysis of its dark and terrifying historical context, and unprecedented revelations about its secret motivation. In the midst of the Cold War, against the backdrop of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the space race with the Soviet Union, and the quagmire of the Vietnam War, a band of iconoclastic, independent-minded American mountaineers set off for Mt. Everest, aiming to restore America's confidence and optimism. Their objective is to reach the summit while conducting scientific research, but which route will they take? And, mysteriously, who wants the results of the scientific tests, and for what purpose? The Vast Unknown is, on one level, a harrowing, character-driven account of the climb itself and its legendary team of alternately inspiring, troubled, and tragic climbers who suffer injuries, a near mutiny, and death on the mountain. It is also an examination of the profound sway the expedition had over the American consciousness and sense of identity during a time when the country was floundering. And it is an investigation of the expedition's little-known secret motivation: to reconnoiter the region for the placement of a CIA surveillance device on the Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi, to spy into China where Defense Intelligence believed a nuclear facility was being built.
Coburn, Broughton, 1951-
The vast unknown
America's first ascent of Everest
New York :, Crown Publishers,, 
xv, 300 pages : map ; 25 cm
Branch Call Number:
796.52 Coburn 2013