Michael Tougias is a lecturer and award-winning author and coauthor of 30 books. In January 2016, the Disney movie version of The Finest Hours, coauthored by Casey Sherman, was released in 45 countries.

The Finest Hours is a true story of the Coast Guard’s greatest small-boat rescue, which happened when two tanker ships simultaneously split in half during a treacherous nor’easter storm off Cape Cod in 1952. Bernie Webber gathered a small crew of volunteers to venture into the storm in a 36-foot lifeboat to find the foundering half of the Pendleton, one of the ships that had split.

To buy a personalized, autographed copy of the book, see Mike’s website here (there is also a young adult version available).

Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America’s Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission (Hachette/PublicAffairs, 2018) delves into the role of the U2 pilots who bravely flew 13 miles above Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis to photograph Russian missiles and keep President Kennedy apprised of the situation. In it, retired Brig. Gen. Gerald MacIlmoyle reveals that he was shot at and the military brass kept it secret. Not long afterward, a U2 was shot down, nearly triggering World War III.

Business groups interested in a compelling leadership and decision making program based on a study of Kennedy’s techniques should contact the author.

Above Beyond cover

In May 2016 is a nonfiction book that’s a combination of World War II history and survival at sea was released: So Close to Home, the True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During World War II. The story is about a family whose ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat (submarine) in the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from a safe port! A related program is available from both authors, including from Tougias through the Florida Humanities Program.

See a brief video of Ray “Sonny” Downs remembering his family’s ordeal after the shipwreck on www.michaeltougias.com

His book Fatal Forecast: An Incredible Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea was praised by the Los Angeles Times as “a breathtaking book – Tougias spins a marvelous and terrifying yarn.”

Chronicle magazine devoted an entire program to Overboard! a story about five people on a sailboat that run into a storm.  Two people are swept overboard and three are still on the sinking boat.  The story follows all five individuals and their struggle for survival.  To see the program in 3 parts, click on this link. On the same video page is actual Coast Guard footage from one of their biggest rescue efforts, when the tall ship Bounty sank with 16 crew aboard (subject of Mike’s book, Rescue of the Bounty).

Bounty cover

Another of the author’s true survival books, 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.”   Tougias has researched dozens of survival stories and includes them in his lecture for businesses titled, Survival Lessons: Decision-making Under Pressure.

Porcupine cover

On a lighter note, Tougias chronicled his misadventures at his remote cabin in Vermont in his award-winning book There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wanna-be.  This book won the Independent Publishers Association Award for the “The Best Nature Book of the Year.” 

“My publishers probably wish I’d stay with one topic or theme, but I choose a topic based on how passionate I am about the subject. So one year I might write about a 400 mile kayak trip I took down the Connecticut River, and the next be writing a survival story of men against the sea.”