Two Planks and a Passion

Two Planks and a Passion : The Dramatic History of Skiing

3.9 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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Predating the wheel, the ski has played an important role in our history. This is brilliantly brought to life in this engaging book. Roland Huntford's brilliant history begins 20,000 years ago in the last ice age on the icy tundra of an unformed earth. Man is a traveling animal, and on these icy slopes skiing began as a means of survival.That it has developed into the leisure and sporting pursuit of choice by so much of the globe bears testament to its elemental appeal. In polar exploration, it has changed the course of history. Elsewhere, in war and peace, it has done so too. The origins of skiing are bound up with the emergence of modern man and the world we live in today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 456 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 36mm | 839.14g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Hambledon Continuum
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 1847252362
  • 9781847252364
  • 498,860

Review quote

"The breadth of his scholarship, which includes an easy familiarity with Scandinavian texts, is extraordinary." Literary Review "Could the outcome of the Second World War have been decided by the humble ski? That's the bold but surprisingly convincing claim made by Roland Huntford in Two Planks and a Passion." Roger Cox, The Scotsman "What elevates Huntford is his comprehensive approach ... accessible and enjoyable, even to the most armchair bound of 'schussers'." Paul Watkins, The Times Review in The Daily Telegraph. "Huntford's book will be a perfect stocking present for piste fantasists like me," Max Hastings, Sunday Times "This is a compelling acount, and definitive history, of an activity that has evolved over time into one of our most thriving leisure industries." Sunday Telegraph "An engaging and insightful work" Sport Magazine "The most in-depth study of skiing currently in the English language and it will no doubt remain the defining record for some time." The Guardian Mentioned in Skier and Snowboarder Magazine, 01 November 2008. Mention in The Daily Mail, 28 November 2008. Title mention in Skier & Snowboarder Magazine. "Roland Huntford's book is an amazingly detailed history of skiing's Scandinavian origins." BBC History Magazine Title mention in The Guardian. 'Our choice - pick of the paperbacks ... Huntford tells the ski story straightforwardly and simply' - Sunday Times 'This will be skiing's definitive history for years to come...' Alex Wade, Times Literary Supplement '[A] fine, erudite history of the sport', Hugh Thompson, The Independent "In his early books, Huntford chronicled the race to the South Pole ("The Last Place on Earth") and wrote biographies of Ernest Shackleton and Fridtjof Nansen. "Two Planks" seems a natural progression for him ... Huntford deserves praise for bringing together a lot of rich material." New York Times Book Review. 'This is a deeply scholarly work ... Fortunately scholarly in this instance is not synonymous with dull ... Huntford manages to to bind a wealth of material together with a strong narrative thread.' Simon Redfern, The Independent on Sunday 'Huntford has also undertaken the monumental task of tracing and explaining the development of the sport of skiing outside Scandinavia, particularly in Alpine Europe. As such, he has provided us with a much richer and more complex picture than was previously available from Arnold Lunn's highly partial "The Story of Skiing.'"--Sanford Lakoff
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About Roland Huntford

Roland Huntford is the world's foremost authority on the polar expeditions and their protagonists. The biographer of Shackleton and Nansen, his other books include Scott and Amudsen: The Last Place on Earth and The Coldest March: Scott's Fatal Antarctic Journey.
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Table of contents

Working chronologically from Nordic mythology through to the modern leisure pursuit and Olympic stars of today.
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Rating details

20 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 35% (7)
4 20% (4)
3 45% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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