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.
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.