"My travels with rucksack and thumb taught me lessons of self-reliance and self-confidence and through experiencing other cultures I learned respect and gratitude..."

This tremendous autobiography begins with the author's childhood in Lomita, California, in the late 1930s. It goes on to explore his intentional year of Wanderjahr when McGee took time before college to travel much of Europe. Armed with a simple rucksack and a hitchhiking thumb, he stayed in youth hostels along the way. He then served in the Army, was a corporate president at age 40, and served as an intelligence officer in the State Department's foreign service. McGee's hefty and detailed biography shares a uniquely interesting life story. Using rich detail (and the occasional perfect bit of humor), the author brandishes an extremely healthy appreciation for such academic disciplines as history, genealogy, ethnography, multilingualism, and more. The narrative speaks of his devoted marriage to his wife Peg for 40 years, ended only by death when she suffers a stroke during one of the couple's many extraordinary travels abroad. It also features the couple's successful children: Katy and Jim. The latter was an arborist who tragically passed away at age 48.

McGee has lived an incredibly rich life, having had the opportunity to visit 86 different countries. In these detailed and engaging stories of his experiences in so many different places on the globe, this magnificent memoir is as much enticing travel writing as it is the story of a young boy from humble beginnings who accomplishes much in terms of business acumen, foreign diplomacy, and more. When McGee talks about his travels, he includes, without exception, the historical significance of the locale and rich descriptions of the people. The author's greatest strength lies within the intricate details shared about the art, history, architecture, natural beauty, geopolitical factors, and world literature of the places he visited during his remarkable travels.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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