Mountains of the World, A Handbook for Climbers and Hikers, by William M. Bueler, Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, Co. 279 pp. 43 maps.
“The Alps are the best-known and most written-about mountains on earth, and anyone planning an Alpine vacation should have little trouble finding a great deal of information.” So begins William M. Bueler’s chapter on the Alps in his handbook for climbers and hikers entitled Mountains of the World. This pocket-sized, soft-covered manual is presented as a quick reference guide for the hiker or non-expert mountaineer. In fact, it is neither a guide nor a reference text but a collection of brief descriptions of the highest peaks in the mountain ranges of the world. Included are 43 sketch maps which give the reader a rough idea of the relationships the peaks bear to one another, and to the nearest town in a given locale. Reference is intermittently made to guidebooks about a mountain area, but there is no bibliography to aid the reader in further investigating a subject, and there are no pictures to enliven an unexciting text. If this handbook has any virtue it lies in answering the question, “What is there to climb in so-and-so anyway?” In this reviewer’s opinion, obtaining the answer does not justify purchasing the book. Taking Mr. Bueler’s own words a bit out of context, “Anyone planning an alpine vacation should have little trouble finding a great deal of information”… elsewhere.
Samuel C. Silverstein, M.D.