Jason Roberts's A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler (HarperCollins, June) is a fascinating, compelling and very entertaining combination of travelogue and character study that follows a blind man who independently traveled around the world with next to no money in the early 1800s. He ended up touching almost all the countries of Europe and even brushes up against significant people in history like John Keats, Darwin and world leaders. I liked the book's structure, with each chapter ending with a tease to what is coming up in the next chapter. I'd certainly recommend this well-written book to fans of popular history, especially those who enjoy learning about little-known events and characters who didn't necessarily change the course of history and whose contribution often gets lost in the grand sweep of history. It perfectly captures the age of sail and colonization with a central character who is gregarious, humorous and intelligent.
Volume 253 Issue 15 04/10/2006