A Wanderer Till I Die

A Wanderer Till I Die

by Leonard Clark

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The world was rumbling with discontent in 1934. Fascism was on the march and Japan was making a military land grab against a weakened Chinese empire. Nobody with any common sense went wandering around South East Asia alone unless they were looking for trouble. Which is exactly what young Leonard Clark (1908-1957), one of the greatest adventure travel writers of the early 20th century, thrived on. Clark’s later life included leading a mounted group of guerrillas into Tibet and organizing a spy ring against the Japanese Imperial army, before he eventually died in a Venezuelan jungle looking for diamonds. But this some-time aviator, full-time risk-taker, got his start in the jungles and battlefields of 1930s Asia. And while his later travel accounts are better known, “A Wanderer Till I Die” is the book that sets the pace for Clark’s event-filled life.

Though only 26 when the story opens, he’s already armed with a keen eye, a sense of humour, no regrets and his trusty Colt 45 pistol. Clark delights in telling his readers how he outsmarts warlords, avoids executioners, gambles with renegades and hangs out with an up and coming Communist leader named Mao Tse Tung. In a world with lax passport control, no airlines, and few rules, the young man from San Francisco floats effortlessly from one adventure to the next. When he’s not drinking whiskey at the Raffles Hotel or listening to the “St. Louis Blues” on the phonograph in the jungle, he’s searching for Malaysian treasure, being captured by Toradja head-hunters, interrogated by Japanese intelligence officers and lured into shady deals by European gun-runners.

If you crave the vicarious thrill of hunting tigers with a faulty rifle, or if you’ve ever fantasized about offering your services as a mercenary pilot to a warlord, only to discover that the man interviewing you is the wrong general, then this is the book for you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781789123265
Publisher: Muriwai Books
Publication date: 01/13/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 183
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

Leonard Clark (1908-1957) was an American explorer, former Army intelligence officer, and author.

Perhaps the greatest of all twentieth-century explorers, Clark had more—and more varied—field experience in true unexplored tracts of the earth’s surface than any living man. This was partly because he did not believe, for himself, in big expeditions and elaborate paraphernalia. As reader of his books will quickly discover, he was a man who packed, went, and walked right in. This same trait enabled him to perform extraordinary feats of military intelligence and reconnaissance in difficult and dangerous areas.

Clark came by his passion for exploration naturally; his father brought the first reindeer from Iceland to Alaska during the days of the gold rush. Leonard Clark himself, after an education at the University of California and two years’ service in a bank, set out for Borneo and spent three months in the interior. There followed trips to the Celebes, the Philippines, Sumatra, the Malay States, China, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Mexico—where he went mountain climbing—North Africa, North Burma, Mongolia, Chinese Turkestan, Central America, and many more. During the war he served four years in OSS (the forerunner of the CIA), pioneered U.S. intelligence and guerrilla operations behind Japanese lines in three war zones, and later unofficially accepted the surrender of Formosa. Then followed his trip to the east of the Peruvian Andes, the vast rainforest of the Gran Pajonal, which was described in his 1953 book The Rivers Ran East, as well as an expedition in to the central Yucatan peninsula. In 1954 Clark published a further book on his travels and adventures, The Marching Wind, this time detailing his exploration and studies of unmapped and unexplored regions in Central Asia.

He died on May 4, 1957 whilst on a diamond-mining expedition in Venezuela, aged 50.

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