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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.

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