A spirit to conquer Everest
9 November 2012 Last updated at 13:01 GMT
Wade Davis, the author of Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.
Next week the winner of the prize will be announced and BBC Radio 4's The World at One programme is broadcasting interviews with all six of the shortlisted authors.
The question whether or not the great explorer George Mallory ever reached the summit of Everest in 1924 has been disputed for years.
Speaking to presenter Martha Kearney, Wade Davis explained: "The question has always been whether they got to the top or not but what interested me is the spirit that carried them."