The Hemingway Patrols

Ernest Hemingway and His Hunt for U-Boats

By Terry Mort
(Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9781416597872, 272pp.)

Publication Date: September 3, 2011

List Price: $17.99*
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A fascinating account of a dramatic, untold chapter in Hemingway’s life—his pursuit of German U-boats during World War II.

From the summer of 1942 until the end of 1943, Ernest Hemingway  lived  in  Havana,  Cuba,  and  spent  much of  his  time  in  the  Gulf  Stream  hunting  German  sub- marines  in  his  wooden  fishing  boat,  The  Pilar.  This  phase of Hemingway’s life has only been briefly touched upon in biographies  of  Hemingway  but  proved  to  be  of  enormous importance to him. At the time, the U-boats were torpedo- ing  dozens  of  Allied  tankers  each  month  and  threatened America’s ability to wage war in Europe. Hemingway’s patrols were supported by the U.S. Navy, and he viewed these danger- ous missions as both patriotic duty and pure adventure. But they were more than that: they provided some literary basis for The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.  

Terry Mort’s sensitive portrait of Hemingway also brings us his wife Martha Gellhorn (who was scornful of Hemingway’s patrols), a naval account of the U-boat attacks in the vicinity, and a perceptive contemplation of what the patrols meant to Hemingway the man as well as the artist. Drawing on the writer’s letters, Gellhorn’s memoirs, and the sailor’s log of The Pilar, Mort reveals an important chapter in the life of a literary legend.

About the Author
Terry Mort did his undergraduate work in English literature at Princeton University and his graduate work at the University of Michigan. After school he served as an officer in the navy, specializing in navigation and gunnery. His service included a lengthy deployment to Vietnam. He is the author, most recently, of The Hemingway Patrols (Scribner) and The Wrath of Cochise(Pegasus). He has also edited works by Mark Twain, Jack London, and Zane Grey. He lives with his wife, Sondra Hadley, in Sonoita, Arizona and Durango, Colorado.
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