“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.
About the Author
Stephen O’Shea is the author of several books about European history, including the acclaimed Back to the Front and Sea of Faith. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
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.
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.
[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