The Alps

A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond

Stephen O'Shea (Author)

Overview | Formats

“An entertaining, turbocharged race among the high mountain passes of six alpine countries.” —Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review

For centuries the Alps have been witness to the march of armies, the flow of pilgrims and Crusaders, the feats of mountaineers, and the dreams of engineers. In The Alps, Stephen O’Shea ("a graceful and passionate writer"—Washington Post) takes readers up and down these majestic mountains. Journeying through their 500-mile arc across France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, he explores the reality behind historic events and reveals how the Alps have profoundly influenced culture and society.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • March 2018
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35569-7
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond


Endorsements & Reviews

“I would follow Stephen O’Shea anywhere he travels, and this book is a real adventure, both geographically and intellectually—an eloquent and engaging exploration.” — Ross King, best-selling author of Brunelleschi's Dome

“A delight.… O’Shea is an engaging writer.” — Kim Ode, Minneapolis StarTribune

“[A] sardonic, science-rich travelogue.” — Nature

“O’Shea’s quirky travelogue delivers an avalanche of entertaining facts and history.” — Heller McAlpin, NPR

“Enthralling…breezy and informative.” — Jane Ciabattari, BBC

“A droll travelogue that mixes history and wry authorial observations.… [O’Shea] is an amiable guide to the riches of this vast mountain range—culinary, linguistic, literary, cultural and geologic.” — Matthew Price, Newsday

“Fascinating, funny, and hugely informative… The Alps delivers one stunner after the other, accompanied by the kind of witty, informative banter that enhances our journey.” — Tony Lewis, Providence Journal

“The combination of a contemporary first-person travelogue… and a time-tripping riffle through Alpine history’s greatest hits provides an ideal mix.” — Passport

“[An] ebullient narrative.… This spirited jaunt into the peaks of Europe may inspire readers to pack their bags.” — Kirkus Reviews

“With [O’Shea’s] playful approach to language and a willingness to put himself in uncomfortable situations… this clever meeting of history, literature, and travelogue is a treat for readers of Bill Bryson and Tony Horwitz.” — Library Journal

“Chock-full of colorful facts.… O’Shea is… a charming, ever-curious, and knowledgeable raconteur.” — Publishers Weekly

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