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Since its publication in 1963 Sterling Hayden's autobiography, Wanderer, has been surrounded by controversy. The author was at the peak of his earning power as a movie star when he suddenly quit. He walked out on Hollywood, walked out of a shattered marriage, defied the courts, and, broke and an outlaw, set sail with his four children in the schooner Wanderer-bound for the South Seas.

His attempt to escape launches this autobiography. It is the candid, sometimes painfully revealing confession of a man who scrutinized his every self-defeat and self-betrayal in the unblinking light of conscience. It is also the triumph of a complex and contradictory man, a rebel and a seeker, undefeated by his failure to find himself in love, adventure, drink, or escape to the South Seas.

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