“As his moniker suggests, John Stanley James, ‘The Vagabond’ spent most of his life drifting. Cannon has compiled James’ extensive writings of his journeys through Asia and the Pacific to put together a travel diary of sorts. James was an archetype of his time, racist, sexist, imperialist and entitled, which sometimes makes for difficult reading. However, the reader gets a real sense of colonial beliefs during the 19th century through his social commentary and his fastidious attention to every detail. Cannon notes that it is important not to sanitize distasteful parts of the past, so as to not de-humanize important historical figures such as James”. – Lee Sulkowska in History News, February 2018.
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