Horizon Chasers: The Lives and Adventures of Richard Halliburton and Paul Mooney

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McFarland, Feb 21, 2007 - Social Science - 320 pages
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Richard Halliburton was the quintessential world traveler of the early 20th century. In 1930, his celebrity equaled that of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. Halliburton called himself a "horizon chaser" and recommended that one should see the world before committing to a routine. Not only did he live up to his ideal, but he was eager to write about his adventures. A prolific partnership with gifted editor and ghost writer Paul Mooney produced excellent work, and theirs became a close personal relationship. Sadly, Halliburton and Mooney disappeared at sea on March 24, 1939, along with the entire crew of Halliburton's Chinese junk Sea Dragon, as they attempted to cross the Pacific from Hong Kong to the San Francisco World's Fair. This biography records the life and adventures of Halliburton and Mooney, focusing--as no other Halliburton biography has--on the productive literary collaboration between the two. Drawing on the recollections of people who knew them both, the work discusses their backgrounds, the early years of their acquaintance, and their possible romantic relationship. Finally, their fateful journey to Hong Kong and the ill-advised voyage of the Sea Dragon is described in detail. A good deal of first-hand evidence is provided by William Alexander, Paul Mooney's best friend and designer of Halliburton's Laguna Beach house. Appendices contain seven poems by Mooney and facsimile letters, including one of praise written by Richard Halliburton to William Alexander. Never-before-published photographs are also included.
  

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Among the finest opening paragraphs I have ever read. They lay out what is to follow with great technical skill. The writer makes you think about the persons, places, things and ideas of the book rather than about someone struggling to convey them, The author makes it clear that the book is a biographical essay, vivid, prismatic, and not a day-by-day, moment-by-moment recital of the events in Halliburton's and Mooney's lives; a book, say, on Halliburton's relationship to his parents could be twice the length of this book, as could a book on his flight around the world with Moye Stephens in The Flying Carpet. Thanks to this book I have returned to Halliburton's books, and await with piqued interest modern reviews of his legacy as well as stay tuned to any new information about his life which may surface. Hats off to Gerry!.  

Contents

Preface
1
A Modern Ulysses
7
Don Peyote
17
A Growing Boy
30
New York Confidential
36
Streets of Paris
47
The Farm
54
Romantic Richard
63
I Knew Hitler
119
Olympian Detachment
129
House in Flight
139
Pacifica
172
The Halliburton Chinese Junk Expedition
182
The Royal Road from Hong Kong
196
To Dare or to Be in Debt
214
Earth Air Fireand Water
221

Ghostwriting Ritual
77
Veiled Salome
92
Marvelland
98
Vagabondia
105
Mask of Celebrity
111
Seven Poems by Paul Mooney
235
Bibliography
283
Index
299
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Gerry Max is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and Lakeland College. He collects and appraises rare books and has published on a variety of topics in scholarly journals. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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