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American Daredevil: The Extraordinary Life of Richard Halliburton, the World's First Celebrity Travel Writer Hardcover – June 1, 2016
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American Daredevil sheds light on both Halliburton's personal and professional life. The book delves into the challenges he faced as a gay man living in the first half of the 1900s and the lengths Halliburton took to keep his romantic life secret from the public. Prince also provides a detailed look into the world of journalism in the early part of the 20th century, highlighting the
importance of Halliburton's career as a truly original American writer.
American Daredevil doesn't create a mythological view of Halliburton but presents an honest portrait of her subject, sharing some of the less admirable qualities of his character such as racist views he held and freely shared in his letters.
American Daredevil will transport you back to another time and send you on an adventure around the world with a nearly forgotten, but important, literary character. It's a trip worth taking and about a person worth remembering.
Cathryn's style of writing is so easy and pleasurable. You flow through the book never being intimidated by flowery prose or vocabulary words that seem to be there only to impress, something I find frustrating when reading current authors. His story was unknown to me, and I learned so much about this man and his spirit for adventure and steadfast determination. He had a very unique character which contained nerves of steel and a heart filled with love for his family and friends. He was an icon in his day. Known to all as a singular adventurer, who explored lands and destinations most would never get to.- he then spent his time writing and speaking to throngs of people who were captivated by him and his stories of travels. Cathryn Prince wrote a wonderful read.
Today, countless travel photos and essays are immediately available via a web search. It doesn't seem there are any "unexplored" areas left. But, ninety years ago, when the only option the average American had was to travel vicariously through someone else, Richard Halliburton was an extraordinary person to see and experience the world through. His highly polished public persona exuded strength, charm, charisma, and daring. It was almost as if Halliburton allowed readers to pretend they were fearless enough to swim the Panama Canal, scale mountains, cross seas, dine with celebrities, or fly across the desert.
Yet, that persona hid flaws (stubbornness, impatience) and aspects of his life he wanted to keep private, and I appreciate how the author illuminated the differences between the public and the private personas.
Perfect for: want-to-be travelers, wintery snowed-in weekends, anyone who loves the romance and allure of the inter-war years