Read all about Khubilai Khan in Jim’s book Khubilai Khan’s Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada
From a report on Jim’s fascinating presentation in April, 2011 for the New York Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and Archaeology Committee of the National Arts Club.
“Jim knows his craft – unearthing underwater history and making it available to the public. Expecting a dry, Harvard Yard presentation, I was delighted to come face-to-face with the popular National Geographic TV host who is gifted enough to paint for us one of the most significant historical episodes of all: the invasion of Japan by Chinese and Koran navies under the great Mongol leader Khubilai Khan.”
Excerpt: “Khubilai Khan is a fellow who’s struggling to gain acceptance, not only from his Chinese subjects but also from his fellow Mongols. He’s a kid that grows up on the wrong side of the family. The family of the great Khan, Genghis, is fighting amongst themselves to succeed Khubilai’s grandfather. He ultimately comes to power but only through a civil war and having to defeat his brother, and he’s also a fellow who isn’t seen as a typical Mongol. He doesn’t ride a horse, he doesn’t go out and hunt a great deal, he’s a little overweight, he likes courtly pleasures, and there’s a constant striving in his life and in his career to be accepted, to prove that he is capable not only of being the great Khan of the Mongols but also the emperor of China, the world’s greatest civilisation. That’s the setting in which we find this man, and I think it’s one of the key reasons why he ultimately will come to grief with his fleet against the Japanese.’’