John C. McManus
Award-Winning Professor, Author, and Military Historian
John C. McManus is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of U.S. military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). This professorship is bestowed by the University of Missouri Board of Curators on the most outstanding scholars in the University of Missouri system. McManus is the first ever Missouri S&T faculty member in the humanities to be named Curators’ Distinguished Professor. As one of the nation’s leading military historians, and the author of twelve well received books on the topic, he is in frequent demand as a speaker and expert commentator. In addition to dozens of local and national radio programs, he has appeared on Cnn.com, Fox News, C-Span, the Military Channel, the Discovery Channel, the Smithsonian Network, the History Channel and PBS. He also served as historical advisor for the bestselling book and documentary Salinger, the latter of which appeared nationwide in theaters and on PBS’s American Masters Series.
John C. McManus is a native of St. Louis. He attended the University of Missouri and earned a degree in sports journalism. After a brief stint in advertising and sports broadcasting, he embarked on a literary and academic career. He earned an M.A. in American history from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D in American history and military history from the University of Tennessee. He participated in the University of Tennessee’s Normandy Scholars program and, in the process, had an opportunity to study the battle first hand at the Normandy battlefields. At Tennessee he served as Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society, where he helped oversee a major effort to collect the first hand stories of American veterans of World War II. Making extensive use of this material, as well as sources from many other archives, he published two important books, The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II in 1998, and Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II in 2000. Shortly after the publication of Deadly Sky he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of U.S. Military History at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (at the time known as University of Missouri-Rolla) where he now teaches courses on the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, American Military History, and the American Combat Experience in the 20th Century. He is on the editorial advisory board for World War II magazine and Global War Studies.
In 2004 he published a two volume series on the American role in the Battle of Normandy. The first book, The Americans at D-Day: The American Experience at the Normandy Invasion was released in June 2004. The second book, The Americans at Normandy: The Summer of 1944, the American War from the Beaches to Falaise was published in November 2004.
In 2007-2008 he published four new books. Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers who made the Defense of Bastogne Possible (John Wiley and Sons, March 2007) is a fast paced, graphic history of the desperate race for the key town of Bastogne in the early days of the Battle of the Bulge. The book won the Missouri Conference on History Best Book Award and NAL quickly acquired the paperback rights. The 7th Infantry: Combat in an Age of Terror, Korea through the Present, (TOR-Forge, May 2008) was the first of two gritty volumes covering the history of one of the U.S. Army’s most distinguished combat outfits. The second volume on the earlier part of the regiment’s history, American Courage, American Carnage: The 7th Infantry Regiment and the Story of America’s Combat Experience, 1812 through World War II (TOR-Forge) was published in 2008. In the fall of 2007, McManus published U.S. Military History for Dummies, (John Wiley and Sons), a lively, down-to-earth overview of the American military experience.
In 2010 Grunts: The American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II through Iraq, (NAL/Penguin), was released to rave reviews and wide acclaim. With well research chapters ranging from the Battles of Guam and Peleliu to urban combat at Aachen and Fallujah, to jungle and counterinsurgent warfare, including a chapter on the 7th Infantry in Iraq, this book examined the realities of modern American combat like no other before or since. The U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff named the book to the Army’s recommended professional reading list. In addition, the Army has also used Grunts as an important reading selection in the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.
He has since published three more highly acclaimed books: September Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far; The Dead and Those About to Die, D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach; and Hell Before Their Very Eyes: American Soldiers Liberate Concentration Camps in Germany, April 1945.