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The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors
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The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  99 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Chronicles the first all-African American summit attempt on Denali, the highest point in North America Part adventure story, part history, and part argument for the importance of inspiring future generations to value nature

The nation's wild places from national and state parks to national forests, preserves, and wilderness areas belong to all Americans. But not all of us u
Published October 15th 2014 by Mountaineers Books (first published May 1st 2013)
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Layne T.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I started reading "The Adventure Gap" on 10/25/14 and finished it the evening of 10/26/14. This is a story that needed to be told for several reasons:
1. That your skin color has nothing to do with what you can accomplish
2. That we as American's need to be aware of our historical accomplishments and who were the actual players involved i.e. "The Buffalo Soldiers" Whom were Black and known for being fierce fighting Soldiers--they also had a lot to do with the beginnings of our first national park
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

Having grown up with a black father who loved fishing and all things outdoors, he instilled this love of the wild within me. I was surprised to grow up and realize the huge lack of people of color in these venues. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to me for my dad and I to be on the river, talking about salmon, and how important the forest was. I had no idea. I was very much uninformed.

Looking deeper into this subject has given me new insight and new perspective on
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent account of the Expedition Denali mountaineers, this book tackles the challenge of representation and role models for youths of color as much as it discusses the climb. The author just barely didn't make the mountaineering crew (due to finding out that he needed two hip replacements), but he was in good enough shape to tag along as chronologer and historian. I was cheering throughout for the team and for NOLS, who helped put it all together. I knew about the expedition before it was ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Much-needed focus on minority participation in outdoor adventures! Also engagingly written!
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can not sign enough praises about this book and author James Edward Mills. I had the opportunity to meet James at an event where he spoke to us about some of the adventurers in his book. His gentle speaking manner translates into an adventure for anyone to enjoy. He may be recounting real life adventures and their journeys, but the flow of his writing brings the reader along as if you are climbing mountains and discovering places with the people he documents. If you love adventure, read this b ...more
Chris Williams
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
"The Buffalo Soldiers patrolled the parks for poachers, fought wildfires, thwarted illegal loggers, and generally kept the peace as law enforcement officers...It's hardly a stretch to suggest that these early park rangers helped to set the standard of excellence for the institution that would in 1916 become the National Park Service."
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great read! Understanding motivation, fear and the frame of mind of different people on the edge of a big adventure is insightful... Mills' occasional trips back in time to historical touch points and people help to round out the story with depth.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For being about an amazing adventure, this book was sort of boring. There were too many characters to feel particularly attached to any of them, and the style was certainly journalistic--like one long newspaper article. The "profiles" of important black outdoorspeople were awesome and enlightening. However, the analysis of race in outdoor communities came down on "we're all the same on the inside! we just need more role models!" which is not as sophisticated as I would have hoped, as it seems to ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great read, short and very accessible even though I'm not familiar with mountaineering. Great mix of historical information, profiles about people, and narrative about a specific mountaineering journey through the context of black people in adventure sports/activities. I would have liked even more on the historical information and profiles, but in the context of the book it was a great introduction to spark interest for further reading. This was recommended to me by a friend and it wasn't until ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was really excited by the topic, but I was disappointed by the book. I didn't feel like I really gained much insight into why "the adventure gap" exists or ideas of how to fix it, beyond the very obvious. I really think there's more to it than a lack of role models.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
This book made me want to climb a mountain. Or at least get my rear end outdoors!
Anita Elder
Feb 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The book has a good message, but I wasn't found of the style of writing.
Nancy Lewis
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: alaska
Mills has good intentions, but he tries to do too much with these 200 pages. He tells the story of a unique mountain climbing team intent on bagging Denali; he profiles several African-American role models in exploration; and gives some suggestions as to why there is an 'adventure gap' in the first place. But he doesn't actually address the subtitle of the book: Changing the Face of the Outdoors. By the last page, Mills still hasn't given us any ideas for how to do that.
Andy Janes
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
An enjoyable, quick and easy read. Had much less substance than I was hoping for. It was a good chronicle of Expedition Denali, but was much less detailed about actually changing the face of the outdoors. Still, an important book for anyone wanting to read about increasing diversity in the outdoor industry.
Pat Edwards
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic read. Takes you up the mountain with the Denali team and alternates fascinating profiles - historical and current day. I can't see myself on a mountain like Denali, but I've gained new perspective of the volatility of the weather, the mercurial terrain, and the critical inter-dependence of the climbing team members. To me this is a modern day Hero's Journey tale.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
As far as adventure reads go, the story itself of Expedition Denali was not very thrilling. The strength of this book is in its personal profiles of African American men and women adventurers and a primer on how we as an outdoor community can do better at diversity.

We can do better at recognizing the lesser-known but inspiring African Americans who have made a history that needs telling: the Buffalo Soldiers, explorers at the North and South Poles and pioneers in the National Parks Service. We
Mackensie Colleen
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James Edward Mills is a freelance journalist and an independent media producer. In a career that spans more than 20 years he specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

Based in Madison Wisconsin James has written for several publications that include The Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Reg
More about James Edward Mills

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