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John Wukovits

John Wukovits

Military Historian Specializing in World War II

Travels From

Michigan


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BIO

Military historian John Wukovits is the author of eight books, including For Crew and Country: The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice Aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts; Admiral “Bull” Halsey; and Eisenhower. A contributor to over 25 military journals and magazines, Wukovits has also served as an on-air commentator and historical consultant for The History Channel’s ten-part series, Pacific: The Lost Evidence, and as chief historian for Fox News Channel’s War Stories with Oliver North, in an episode about the Battle for Wake Island. He has interviewed close to 400 veterans of both theaters of World War II.

 

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Wukovits moved to Michigan when his father was transferred with the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. He became hooked on the Pacific Theater of World War II in grade school, after reading a book about the Battle of the Coral Sea, and began a 30-year career as a junior high school History and Language Arts teacher in 1968, upon earning a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Notre Dame and his master’s in American History from Michigan State University. Although Wukovits had always enjoyed writing, he did not seriously look into it until the early 1980s. By then he had read so many magazine articles that Wukovits thought he could do at least as good as, if not better than, the stories he read.  When he finally called the editor of one and told her so, she asked him to prove it with a three-page assignment on General Henry “Hap” Arnold. She liked what he did, and Wukovits won his first contract with American History Illustrated.

 

Starting in 1994, Wukovits has been invited to deliver more than 200 presentations to numerous organizations, from Rotary Club groups to the United States Naval Academy and 1,200- person charity luncheons.  He credits his experience in the classroom with his ability to strip complex ideas down to their simplest—with focus, organization, and imagination. John Wukovits’ other books include Devotion to Duty: A Biography of Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague; Pacific Alamo:  The Battle for Wake Island; One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa; American Commando: Evans Carlson, His WWII Marine Raiders, and America’s First Special Forces Mission; and Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington.


Visit John Wukovits’ website to learn more
Watch Wukovits’ talk on Eisenhower at the Pritzger Military Library Great Generals Series
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BOOKS

Hardcover
For Crew and Country
The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice Aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts
St. Martin's Press

In For Crew and Country, John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.
Hardcover
Admiral "Bull" HalseyThe Life and Wars of the Navy's Most Controversial Commander
Palgrave Macmillan Trade

The definitive biography of America’s best-known naval officer, who commanded the legendary Third Fleet during WWII
Trade Paperback
Palgrave Macmillan Trade

In the third installment of the Great Generals series, WWII expert John Wukovits explores Dwight D. Eisenhower's contributions to American warfare. American general and 34th president of the...

SPEECHES

A Five-Star General’s Six Steps to Success: Military historian John Wukovits uses the military career of Dwight Eisenhower to show how anyone can be a success, whether in business, the classroom, the military, or any other endeavor.

“Nobody Gives A Damn!”— War Veterans and Their Stories: Military historian John Wukovits, using work from his eighth grade students, disputes the perception that, as one war hero stated, “Nobody gives a damn” about the experiences of war veterans.

“I Was Just Doing What I Was Supposed to Do”: World War II veterans often deflect praise by claiming that far from being heroic, they were only doing what they were supposed to do. Military historian John Wukovits uses interviews he conducted with those men to show that in doing what they were supposed to do, those veterans teach a crucial lesson.

“Old Dead Guys” Can Teach You Something - Using History and Literature to Teach Writing and Reading: Using lesson plans developed from his World War II book, For Crew and Country: The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice Aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts, Wukovits, a teacher for thirty years, dispels the notion that, as one of his students once said, he could not learn from old dead guys. Coordinated with today’s Common Core State Standards, Wukovits shows how to use history to convey writing and reading skills needed for the 21st century.


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RECENT VIDEOS

  • Interview with John Wukovits

REVIEWS

Praise for For Crew and Country

"Engaging and lively . . . A valuable addition to our understanding of the events that took place almost 70 years ago, and an inspirational story of devotion to duty and country."
Proceedings

"This story of the brave and resourceful officers and crew of the gallant Samuel B. Roberts is one that should be read by every American. A thrilling story of self-sacrifice, of David versus many Goliaths, of a little war vessel with a paper-thin hull saluting, stepping up, and making a charge to death and glory. After I finished reading, I wanted to stand up and cheer. I still do."
—Homer Hickam, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Torpedo Junction, Rocket Boys/October Sky, and The Keeper's Son

"In this richly detailed book, John Wukovits provides unusual insight into the crew, the team—the family—of the USS Samuel B. Roberts. The human detail is drawn from wartime letters, secondary sources, and survivor interviews, resulting in a rare combination of research, exposition, and insight. From the tentative process of shaking down to deployment to the Pacific, to the soaring, searing reality of combat at Leyte Gulf, readers will come to know many of the 'Sammy B's' crew, celebrate their survival, and mourn their loss."
—Barrett Tillman, author of Enterprise: America's Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II.



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