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Books, Journals, New Media
April 14, 1999

High AltitudeInto Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association


by Jon Krakauer, 293 pp, $24.95, New York, NY, Villard, 1997 (also available on cassette from BDD Audio, New York, NY).

JAMA. 1999;281(14):1341. doi:10.1001/jama.281.14.1341

Jon Krakauer's bestselling book, expanded from his September 1996 article for Outside magazine, recounts a tragic day on Mount Everest when nine climbers died.

Into Thin Air is good investigative reporting, given emotional fire by the author's presence on the climb. In fact, Mr Krakauer's guilt and anguish give the book much of its power. He asks difficult questions about the motives of the climbers, several of them physicians, their psychology, and their willingness to expose others, in addition to themselves, to great risks in search of thrills or glory.

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