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Across Asia on a bicycle by Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben. []



After graduating from George Washington University in 1890, Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben, two American students wishing to expand upon their education with practical experience, decided to travel around the world. Wishing to meet the people along their route, instead of being insulated from them as they would have been had they traveled by more customary means, the two young men chose the newly invented “saftey bicycle” as their primary method of transport. This book tells the story of the most exciting portion of their travels, their journey across Asia, taking the seldom used northern route from Turkey, through Persia (now Iran) and through western China. (The safer and more used path would have led them south through India.)

This book is fascinating as much for what it reveals about the attitudes of these two Americans as it is for what it reveals about the people they met upon there way. It provides an interesting glimpse at the attitudes and politics of the time, and, of course, it is also a great adventure story.

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