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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Lest we forget

This book has been out for a couple of years, but such is my backlog of reading material (it seems to be common problem among us libertarians) that I have only just got round to reading this enthralling and at times harrowing account of how a group of dare-devil British mountaineers, inspired by the challenge of the Himalayas, mixed high-altitude adventure and spying activity against the Chinese during the mid-1950s. If you love books on central Asian geo-politics, mountaineering and some appallingly good rude words, you will like this story.

Sydney Wignall, a Welsh mountaineering enthusiast, very nearly died from maltreatment at the hands of the Chinese PLA after he and his fellow mountaineers were kidnapped at gunpoint during an expedition to Tibet. Without giving away any essentials, the book, written in a sort of Kiplingesque style, rams home the utter horror of what has happened in Tibet and against its people as a result of the Chinese incursions since the end of the Second World War.

This book is a timely reminder of what a disgusting thing communism is and what it can do to people. It also tells, however, tales reflecting the very best of human character and spirit, not least among ordinary Chinese people caught up in the collective madness of Mao’s totalitarian order. It also makes me want to visit the Himalayas one day.

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