The 10 Greatest Adventure Biographies

Clear some space on the bookshelf.

    Photo: Courtesy of Mountaineers Books

Book Smackdown: Adventure Bios

Tell us your choice for the best adventure biography of all time in our book smackdown.

The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory, by Peter & Leni Gillman (2000)
No. 10
George Mallory was so much more than bleached bones and a brief entry in Bartlett's ("Because it is there"). Handsome and charismatic, he romped around Cambridge with the chic Bloomsbury set before finding his life's calling on rope in the Alps—and his early end on Everest in 1924. The Gillmans boldly go where few Mallory biographers dare tread, including into the sensitive issue of a rumored early homosexual experience, the authenticity of the Quote—he likely said something more like "Because we are mountaineers"—and odd examples of his adventurous spirit. For instance, he enjoyed fording Himalayan rivers in the nude.

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