The Odyssey Seekers: America’s Great Travelers

Odyssey seekersMy sister’s new book, The Odyssey Seekers: America’s Great Travelers is now available as a Kindle edition on the Amazon store.

Copy/pasting from the description:

In the first half of the 20th century, America could boast of a number of outstanding travel adventurers and writers. Superstars of their time, these men brought the earth’s most exotic countries to an enthusiastic public that demanded information and pictures about the world. They inspired an entire generation to travel in search of their own romance and adventure.

The Odyssey Seekers: America’s Great Travelers relates the stories of four of these men:

Harry Franck extolled the virtue of penniless travel by tramping around the world in 1904. He stowed away on ships and trains, and found odd jobs as a human nutcracker in Egypt, a clown in Ceylon, and a tennis ball chaser in British India to help pay the way. He walked through the jungles of Burma to Thailand—an unheard-of feat for the time. He continued with a four-year trip walking from Mexico, through Central America, and down the Andes to Argentina. In the 1920s, he walked through every province of China. In his more than twenty books, Franck’s vivid descriptions—underscored by a Yankee sense of humor and acute observations of everyday life of the common man—are often quoted by today’s researchers.

E. Alexander Powell introduced his readers of his thirty-one travel books to kings, sultans, and empresses. In the 1920s, he collaborated with movie producer Samuel Goldwyn on one of the first Hollywood “adventure” films in Southeast Asia. He wowed his audiences back home with stories of his narrow escape from death by a Dyak-poisoned dart in Borneo and his capture by Bedouins while crossing the Arabian Desert. Fulfilling one of many childhood dreams, Powell retraced the steps of famed explorer Henry Stanley across Africa.

Richard Halliburton influenced a generation of Americans to take off and explore the world. Each of his seven books became synonymous with youth, travel, and romance, and his lectures attracted men and women by the thousands who waited in long lines for hours to hear him speak. Halliburton was famous for such exploits as swimming the Panama Canal, sleeping on top of the Great Pyramid at Giza, diving into the sacred Mayan well at Chichen Itzá, and riding an elephant across the Alps in the manner of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.

Lowell Thomas introduced the story of “Lawrence of Arabia” to the world and became one of America’s most distinguished broadcast journalists. His listeners and readers of his more than fifty books traveled vicariously through him as he became one of the first Americans to visit some of the world’s most forbidden countries: Arabia, Afghanistan, and Tibet.

Fans of eccentrics and travel writing (especially the intersection of the two) should check it out!

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