A graduate of St. Michael's College, Michael Tougias is a lecturer and award-winning author of 20 non-fiction books published by Simon and Schuster. Several of his books focus on true survival stories including The Finest Hours: The True Story of The Coast Guard's Most Daring Rescue (now a major motion picture by Disney), Fatal Forecast, and Overboard! His book, Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do in the Blizzard of 78, was selected by the American Library Association as one of the "Top Books of the Year" and described as "a white-knuckle read, the best book of its kind." His latest book is Above & Beyond, a bestseller about the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Michael TougiasMendon, MA email@example.comHome Phone: 508-488-6984
On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor'easter split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just twenty miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued and 14 would lose their lives. Michael Tougias, co-author of the book and soon-to-be Disney movie The Finest Hours, uses slides to illustrate the harrowing tale of the rescue efforts amidst towering waves and blinding snow in one of the most dangerous shoals in the world.This program is also available as an online presentation.
At the height of the Cold War, two things saved humanity: the strategic wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the U2 aerial spy program. Based on declassified intelligence and interviews with the pilots, Michael Tougias and co-author Casey Sherman's book Above & Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission grounds this conversation about presidential decision-making, nuclear containment, intelligence-gathering, and public information. It's a timely topic given today's concerns about the United States, North Korea and Iran. Tougias gives special emphasis to the U-2 pilots who flew unarmed over Cuba to secure photographic proof that the Soviets were installing nuclear missiles on the Island.This program is also available as an online presentation.
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