The Education of a Yankee: An American Memoir

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9780060157524: The Education of a Yankee: An American Memoir

Written with a delightful sense of irony and a profound tenderness, The Education of a Yankee is an engaging memoir that skillfully reveals the grand, eccentric, and occasionally tragic history of a very unconventional family. Judson Hale was born into Boston’s very proper Brahmin world, the son of a wealthy father who loved sailing and horseback riding and a beautiful, talented mother who loved opera and sang professionally. But readers expecting a conventional account of New England privilege will be delightfully surprised. The fate of Hale’s older brother, Drake, led his parents to embark on a dramatic, extravagant, and visionary undertaking that changed the family’s history and brought a remarkable adventure to the small town of Vanceboro, Maine. So began an idealistic and wonderful dream that was to shape Hale’s childhood and adolescence, but which ended differently from what his parents had envisioned. The Education of a Yankee, at once funny and touching, is full of marvelous anecdotes about life on this unusual farm. We watch anxiously as he finally meets his brother, Drake, and see him wrestle with the challenges of joining the family-owned Yankee magazine, which, under his editorial direction, has become the third largest regional magazine in the country.

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About the Author:

JUDSON D. HALE is editor-in-chief of Yankee magazine and The Old Farmer’s Almanac and author of Inside New England. He and his wife, Sally, live in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

From Library Journal:

A common threada celebration of life as one finds it, a willingness to play the hand one is dealtruns through this pair of highly literate memoirs by two writers only a year apart in age but a whole continent apart in locale. Though their circumstances are wholly dissimilar, Hale and Houston each convey Thoreau's sense of having been "born in the nick of time." Born into a Boston Brahmin family in 1933, Hale ( Inside New England ) is the quintessential New Englander. As editor-in-chief of Yankee magazine and the Old Farmer's Almanac, he knows the Yankee character well, and his richly anecdotal autobiography demonstrates his development of such "Yankee traits" as ingenuity, frugality, and shrewdness. Though the tone is dry and Buckleyesque, these are poignant tales of tenacity in the face of trauma: the brain-damaged older brother Hale never knew; a childhood colored by enemas and Anthroposophy; his father's suicide; his wife's alcoholism. Both novelist (Love Life) and essayist (Californians) , Houston is concerned less with character traits than characters, of which there seems to be no shortage in his native Golden Stateguys like "The Hip Plumber," "The New-Age Barber," and "The Kung Fu Teacher with Eyes Like G. Gordon Liddy." But not all are casual acquaintances or longtime heroes like the aging Count Basie: the strongest portraits in Houston's gallery are those of his country music-playing father and his "dangerous" Texan uncle. Like Hale's fine memoir, Houston work is recommended. David Sowd, Stark Cty. District Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Judson Hale
Published by Harpercollins (1987)
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