© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
TECHNOTE: 90.5 FM and AM870 reception

The American 'Man Who Would Be King'

Author Ben Macintyre's The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan tells the true story of Josiah Harlan, a Pennsylvania Quaker who some 150 years ago began a 20-year trip through Central Asia.

After riding into Afghanistan on an elephant, Harlan declared himself to be royalty — and the heir to Alexander the Great. His adventures are widely believed to have inspired Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King.

Macintyre, a senior columnist at The Times of London, has written extensively about Afghanistan. In fact, that's where he first learned of Harlan's exploits. But the foundation of his book rests on Harlan's own journals — which Macintyre came across in a Pennsylvania museum.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

To help strengthen our local reporting as WKAR's fiscal year ends, we need 75 new or upgraded sustainers by June 30th. Become a new monthly donor or increase your donation to support the trustworthy journalism you'll rely on before Election Day. Donate now.