The biography of Charles Houston, M.D., famed for leading the heroic K2 expedition of 1953 and his pioneering research in high-altitude medicine. In Brotherhood of the rope, Bernadette McDonald traces the development of an American hero. Houston is a mountaineer whose groundbreaking medical experiments on altitude and the human body helped calibrate the nation's WWII air-assault strategy and shorten the war. This is the man personally recruited by Sergeant Shriver to lead the first Peace Corps programs in India; the friend who Bill Moyers credits with saving his life; the physician who built some of the first artificial-heart prototypes in his garage. Houston is still a leading authority in high-altitude medicine, and serves as a mentor for troubled teens.