Michael J. Tougias is a New York Times bestselling author and co-author of 24 books.
Among his bestsellers are The Finest Hours (Disney Motion Pictures' version opened in 45 countries in January 2016), Fatal Forecast, Overboard, King Philip's War, and There's A Porcupine In My Outhouse: The Vermont Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe.
A hard working blue collar family from Texas was trying to get a break, to build a nest egg for their growing children in the lean post-Depression years when they decided to move to South America for a job opportunity in 1941. But when war broke out they unknowingly entered the crosshairs of an ugly battle taking place right off America’s shores, sailing into the path of a German U-boat that was on a killing spree through unprotected waters near major port cities. A heartbreaking true story, So Close to Home takes you into both the struggle to get ahead as experienced by the Downs family and the U-boats’ race against the American war machine. Neither won.
Tougias lectures across the country on each of his book topics. He also offers leadership/inspirational programs for business groups, and has spoken to companies and organizations such as General Dynamics, Raytheon, Massachusetts School Library Association, New York University Surgeons Round Table and many more.
SO CLOSE TO HOME
THE FINEST HOURS
In a 1952 nor’easter, the distress of two ships off Cape Cod initiated a dramatic Coast Guard operation recounted here. Both vessels were World War II surplus, cheaply built, unwisely kept in service, and broken in two by the storm. All four halves floated and the narrative tracks four separate search-and-rescue efforts. The most prominent rescue, in the press at the time and in official honors conferred afterward, concerned one motorized lifeboat, a puny 36 feet long and manned by four men, dispatched to do battle with the maelstrom’s towering waves. This is how real heroes are made.
"This is the seascape of The Perfect Storm, and the authors do justice to the peril in a tight account of the action... An excellent entry in the disaster-at-sea genre.” -- Booklist
“A blockbuster account of tragedy at sea.” -- The Providence Journal
Cick on the video at left to hear survivor Ray "Sonny" Downs tell part of his story.
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