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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

James Holman Traveled Over 250,000 Miles in the Early 1800s. He Was Also Completely Blind.

00:00 01:20:47
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He was known simply as the Blind Traveler. A solitary, sightless adventurer, James Holman (1786-1857) fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon, helped chart the Australian outback—and circumnavigated the globe, becoming one of the greatest wonders of the world he so explored.

Today I'm talking with Jason Roberts, author of one of my all-time favorite history books: A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler. We get into all the impossible-to-believe stories that come from Holman's life, including:

-- Holman retraining his senses to use echolocation to “see” the world around him through sight and touch
- -Summiting Mt. Vesuvius as it was on the brink of eruption
-- Riding horses at full gallop
-- Negotiating peace between the British navy and islanders in Equatorial Guinea
January 03, 2019
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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