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The Beat

A Sense of the World

Megan Sukys/Dave Beck
10/12/2006

He was known simply as The Blind Traveler—a sightless adventurer in the 19th century who fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted elephants in India, and helped chart the Australian outback. Today, we learn more about James Holman.

07:00 - Francine du Plessix Gray
Francine Du Plessix Gray’s aristocratic Russian-born mother and stepfather were the toast of the New York fashion world -- until everything came crashing down. Francine traces her parents' rise and fall in her memoir Them. Francine Du Plessix Gray speaks today with John Moe.

20:00 - A Sense of the World
He was known simply as The Blind Traveler—a solitary, sightless adventurer who, astonishingly, fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback. James Holman triumphed not only over blindness but crippling pain, poverty and the interference of well-meaning authorities (his greatest feat, a circumnavigation of the world, had to be launched in secret). Once a celebrity, a bestselling author and an inspiration to Charles Darwin and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the charismatic, witty Holman outlived his fame, dying in an obscurity that has endured—until now. Author Jason Roberts talks with Megan Sukys about his book, A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler.

34:00 - Sounds Familiar: 'That's A Plenty'
Amanda Wilde, host of The Swing Years and Beyond, joins us with the little-known history of songs we didn't know we knew so well.

09.15.14

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