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Maurer, Eva (2009) Cold War, ‘Thaw’ and ‘Everlasting Friendship’: Soviet Mountaineers and Mount Everest, 1953–1960. International Journal of the History of Sport, 26 (4). pp. 484-500. ISSN 0952-3367

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    Abstract

    In 1953, two events affected the community of Soviet mountaineers each in their own way. Stalin died and the world’s highest summit, Mount Everest, was climbed for the first time. This article traces how the story of Everest’s conquest was transmitted to the Soviet public: a slow process reflecting the transition from Stalinist isolation to Khrushchev’s ‘Thaw’. Between 1954 and 1960, the first personal contacts with Everest expedition leader John Hunt then opened up a window to the world (not only) for Soviet mountaineers, while at the same time the blossoming Sino-Soviet friendship of the mid1950s enabled Soviet mountaineers to prepare for their own, however unsuccessful, Sino-Soviet Everest Expedition. Everest acted as a catalyst for increasing contacts between East and West, capitalist and communist climbers, which provided new chances for comparison and self-reflection and thus contributed to the emergence of new discourses of identity and community within Soviet mountaineering.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: mountaineering; Soviet history; Everest; climbing; Stalinism; Khrushchev; Thaw; Cold War; China
    Subjects: Historical and Philosophical studies > History by period > Modern History > Modern History 1920-1949
    Historical and Philosophical studies > History by period > Modern History > Modern History 1950-1999
    Historical and Philosophical studies > History by area > European History > Russian History
    Historical and Philosophical studies > History by area > World History > International History
    Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
    Depositing User: Dr. Eva Maurer
    Date Deposited: 20 May 2011 08:37
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2011 09:15
    URI: http://opendepot.org/id/eprint/411

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