ITALY: Man of the Mountains

Until he reached middle age, he persisted in his favorite sport of mountain climbing. Then one day, as he was descending a dangerous peak, his rope jammed, and he went plunging downward to dangle helplessly over a deep chasm. "For 20 minutes I could not move," Alcide de Gasped recalled later. "Then I swung over to a ridge and was safe. Well, I was 54 then, and I decided I had better give up climbing. But looking back, it had been a good school for political fighting."

Both politics and mountain climbing seemed...

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