The awesome beauty of these lofty peaks, including Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Annapurna, is brought to life by gifted photographers like Steve McCurry, Art Wolfe, and many more, while such notable contributors as Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and over two dozen others share vivid personal tales of Himalayan life, recount their efforts to encourage hope and opportunity, and emphasize the urgent need to preserve the vibrant variety of these ancient landscapes and cultures as they face the mixed blessings of the modern world. The book begins by introducing the region: its astonishing biodiversity, its mountaineering history, its rich ethnic heritage, and the interplay between two major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. Himalaya addresses challenges to these mountainous domains: political turmoil, population growth, touristic demands, and ecological stresses. Finally, a compelling conclusion comes in the stories of doctors, conservationists, environmentalists, and volunteers of every kind, whose efforts provide a global model for practical results and lasting relief, still respecting, honoring, and protecting the magic of a place unlike any other on Earth.
Richard C. Blum, chairman of Blum Capital Partners and of the American Himalayan Foundation, led the 1980 Everest East Face Expedition and has maintained a long connection with Nepal and Tibet. In 1998, the Dalai Lama awarded him the Truth of Light Award for his charitable support of the people and environment of the Himalaya. Erica Stone is president of the American Himalayan Foundation, dedicated to education, health care, cultural and environmental conservation work in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and with Tibetan refugees. She has an MBA from Berkeley. Broughton Coburn has spent two of the past three decades in the Himalaya working in development, conservation, writing, and filmmaking. He is the author of five nonfiction books.