Steven's Notebook

Look Ma - No Hands!

Natural Born Heroes, by Christopher McDougall – Book of the Month Nov ’18

November’s #book recommendation, a true-life adventure, a detective story to uncover it, and more: “a story of remarkable athletic prowess: On the treacherous mountains of Crete, a motley band of World War II Resistance fighters—an artist, a shepherd, and a poet—abducted a German commander from the heart of the Axis occupation. To understand how, McDougall retraces their steps across the island that birthed Herakles and Odysseus, and discovers ancient techniques for endurance, sustenance, and natural movement that have been preserved in unique communities around the world.”

Having enjoyed McDougall’s Born To Run I was looking forward to his latest book, and it did not disappoint. He weaves together historical events — the mysterious kidnapping of a Nazi General and the subsequent hunting and evading — with a current-day search for clues to the whole story, and combines these with his own quest to understand just how it was done. How were these mostly-untrained, very unequipped men able to get themselves and their prisoner across the rocky, dangerous mountains of Crete? Journey with him as he uncovers history along with truths about the physical capabilities of the human body.

book cover: Natural Born Heroes
Christopher McDougall’s Natural Born Heroes.

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