Robert Hale, a member of a distinguished Maine family, was a US congressman for eight terms during the mid-twentieth century. This book, based on ship logs and journals Hale kept during the years before the First World War, tells of a young man devoted to the joys of sailing and fascinated by the New England coast and its inhabitants. From his experiences aboard his sloop, Thetis, he created a world for himself, conceived from romantic notions about past and present and that reflected an innocence derived from Americas new-world isolation from the cynicisms of the old. The war, in which Hale served, put an end to that world, for Hale and for thousands of men like him. His writings help us understand the struggle those men underwent as they found themselves forced to say goodbye to a past that had so effectively nurtured them and their illusions. And because those writings evoke a long-ago time with such youthful conviction and exuberant good humor, they make for reading as enjoyable as it is instructive. Black & white photos. Paperback. 109 pgs.