Of all the individuals who contributed to the modernization of skiing before World War II, Allen identifies three who were especially influential: Fridtjof Nansen of Norway, whose explorations on skis paradoxically inspired the idea of skiing as sport; Arnold Lunn of England, whose invention of downhill skiing and the slalom were foundations of the sport's globalization; and Hannes Schneider, whose teachings introduced both speed and safety into the sport.
Underscoring the extent to which ancient ways persisted despite modernization, the book ends with the Russo-Finnish War, a conflict in which the Finns, using equipment that would have been familiar a thousand years before, were able to maneuver in snow that had brought the mechanized Soviet army to a halt.
More than fifty images not only illustrate this rich history but provide further opportunity for analysis of its cultural significance.
New Hampshire on Skis follows this development and the rise in popularity of skiing in the state. Such innovations as the Cannon Tram, operating from 1938, marked a high point of state-supported ski promotion. After World War II ended, development of ski areas began in earnest. In the late twentieth century and today, ski areas have combined their ski sport activity with other snow sports-snowboarding in particular. New Hampshire on Skis documents the growth of the ski industry in New Hampshire from its European beginnings to what is now one of the most popular winter destinations on the East Coast.