Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son

Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son

by Adam Hochschild


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Adam Hochschild was born in New York City in 1942. His first book, Half The Way Home: A Memoir Of Father And Son, was published in 1986. It was followed by The Mirror At Midnight: A South African Journey, and The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin. The Unquiet Ghost won the Madeline Dane Ross Award of the Overseas Press Club of America, given to "the best foreign correspondent in any medium showing concern for the human condition. Hochschild's work has also won prizes from the World Affairs Council, the Eugene V. Debs Foundation and the Society of American Travel Writers. An anthology of his shorter pieces, Finding The Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels, won the 1998 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay.

Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost: A Story Of Greed, Terror And Heroism. In Colonial Africa was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It, Half The Way Home, and The Unquiet Ghost were all named Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review. His books have been translated into six languages.

Besides his books, Hochschild has also written for The New Yorker, Harper's, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, The Nation, and many other newspapers and magazines. He is a former commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

Hochschild teaches writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, and has been a guest teacher at other campuses in the U.S. and abroad. In 1997-98, he was a Fulbright Lecturer in India. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Arlie, the sociologist and author. They have two sons.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815604129
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publication date: 08/28/1996
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 5.01(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

ADAM HOCHSCHILD is the author of ten books. King Leopold’s Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.


San Francisco, California

Date of Birth:

October 5, 1942

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


A.B., Harvard College, 1963

Read an Excerpt

The most vivid memories I have of my childhood are of the summer evenings when Boris's plane took off.

Boris Vasilievich Sergievsky, captain in the Imperial Russian air force, World War I fighter pilot, winner of the Order of St. George (which entitles the bearer to a personal audience with the Tsar, any time of day or night), test pilot for the Pan American Clippers of the 1930s, tenor, gourmet, lover, horseman, and adventurer, was, miraculously, my uncle. One day he had flown his plane down from the sky and, to the complete shock of all her relatives, had married my father's sister, Gertrude. She was then forty-one years old and had almost certainly never even kissed a man before. From that point on, life in our family was never the same.

What People are Saying About This

E L. Doctorow

His story is fascinating, and the portrait of a lost childhood offered here evokes one of the archetypal dreams of the American mind.

Studs Terkel

An exquisite memoir of a boy growing up: of a world of privilege and the one beyond. It is in coming to understand his powerful father that Adam Hochschild is able to under stand both worlds.

Nadine Gordimer

I was so moved, disturbed and diverted by this beautifully plain account of the most complicated and delicate set of emotions, not just between father and son but more widely between the mystery of power and powerlessness.

Alice Adams

I loved reading Half the Way Home. It is such a gentle book, its eloquence so delicate--and at the same time very strong, dealing as it does with such an exceptionally, intensely difficult relationship.

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