Edward Everett Hale's The Man Without a Country is the fictional story of a young Army officer who before a military court in 1807 swears Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again! The court sentenced him to what he wished for. Of course, there was Philip Nolan, and the entire plot is fiction, a vehicle used by Hale to prompt reflection on the meaning of country in every person's life. This story was read by every American high school student from the time it was published in 1863 to the 1960s. The availability of many old editions from used booksellers gives testimony to its enduring power over the years. It surely helped form the patriotic sense of the World War II and Vietnam generations.
Edward Everett Hale (1822 1909) was an American author, historian and Unitarian clergyman. He was a child prodigy who exhibited extraordinary literary skills and at age thirteen was enrolled at Harvard University where he graduated second in his class. Hale would go on to write for a variety of publications and periodicals throughout his lifetime.