Tucker, Spencer C. 1937- (Spencer Tucker, Spencer Coakley Tucker)

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Tucker, Spencer C. 1937- (Spencer Tucker, Spencer Coakley Tucker)

PERSONAL:

Born September 20, 1937, in Buffalo, NY; son of Cary S. (an army officer) and Elizabeth B. (a homemaker) Tucker; married Barbara Worcester, 1967 (divorced, 1974); married Beverly Blount (a psychotherapist), January 30, 1992. Education: Virginia Military Institute, B.A., 1959; attended University of Bordeaux, 1959-60; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.A., 1962, Ph.D., 1966. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Episcopalian. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting art.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA 24450. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Historian, educator, and writer. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, instructor in history, 1962-65; Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, instructor in history, 1965; University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, assistant professorial lecturer in history, 1966-67; Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, began as assistant professor, became associate professor, 1967-90, professor of history, 1990-97, department head, 1992-97; Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA, John Biggs Chair in Military History, beginning 1997. University of Maryland at College Park, assistant professorial lecturer, 1969-70. Smithsonian Institution, visiting research associate, 1969-70. Military analyst for television and radio programs. Military service: U.S. Army, Military Intelligence, 1965-67.

MEMBER:

North American Society for Oceanic History, Society for Military History, U.S. Naval Institute, Nautical Research Guild, American Association of University Professors, Southwestern Social Science Association, Southern Historical Association (European Section), Phi Beta Delta.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Fulbright fellow in France, 1959-60; Vice Admiral Edwin B. Hooper grant, Division of Naval History, Department of the Navy, 1988-89; John Lyman Book Awards, North American Society for Oceanic History, 1989, for Arming the Fleet, and 2000, for Andrew Foote: Civil War Admiral on Western Waters; Rear Admiral Ernest M. Eller Naval History Prize, 2000, for best article in naval history in 2000; Matthew Fontaine Maury Research Award, Virigina Military Institute, 2002.

WRITINGS:

Arming the Fleet: U.S. Naval Ordnance in the Muzzleloading Era, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1989.

The Jeffersonian Gunboat Navy, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 1993.

(With Frank Reuter) Injured Honor: The Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, June 22, 1807, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1996.

Raphael Semmes and the Alabama, Ryan Place (Fort Worth, TX), 1996.

(With Edwin Olmstead and Wayne E. Stark) The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast, and Naval Cannon, Museum Restoration Service (Ottawa, ON, Canada), 1997.

The Great War, 1914-1918, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1998.

Vietnam, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1999.

Handbook of 19th Century Naval Warfare, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2000.

Andrew Foote: Civil War Admiral on Western Waters, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2000.

Unconditional Surrender: The Capture of Forts Henry and Denelson, McWhiney Foundation Press (Abilene, TX), 2001.

Who's Who in Twentieth-Century Warfare, Routledge, 2001.

A Short History of the Civil War at Sea, Scholarly Resources (Wilmington, DE), 2002.

Brigadier General John D. Imboden: Confederate Commander in the Shenandoah, The University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 2003.

The Second World War, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2004.

Tanks: An Illustrated History of Their Impact, ABCCLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2004.

Stephen Decatur: A Life Most Bold and Daring, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2005.

Blue & Gray Navies: The Civil War Afloat, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2006.

EDITOR

(And contributor) An Encyclopedia of the First World War, Garland (New York, NY), 1994.

The European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia, Garland (New York, NY), 1996.

Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social and Military History, three volumes, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 1998, abridged version, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History, three volumes, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2000.

Naval Warfare: An International Encyclopedia, ABCCLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2002.

Encyclopedia of American Military History, three volumes, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2003.

(With Priscilla Mary Roberts) The Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2005.

(With Priscilla Mary Roberts) World War II: A Student Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2005.

(With Priscilla Roberts) The Encyclopedia of World War I: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2005.

(With Priscilla Mary Roberts) World War I: A Student Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2006.

Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2007.

Encyclopedia of the Cold War: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2007.

(With Priscilla Mary Roberts) The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2008.

(With document editors James Arnold and Roberta Wiener) The Encyclopedia of North American Colonial Conflicts to 1775: A Political, Social, and Military History, ABC-CLIO (Santa Barbara, CA), 2008.

Author of four book chapters and twenty-four articles. Contributor to anthologies; contributor of more than 350 book reviews.

SIDELIGHTS:

Military historian Spencer C. Tucker is the author of books about conflicts ranging from the Civil War to Vietnam. His three-volume Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History was called "an ambitious undertaking" by Brian Coutts and John Richard in Library Journal. As the critics elaborated, the books attempt to "document and analyze every aspect" of the military action, with focus on America's involvement in the conflict. Coutts and Richard praised the work as a "monumental study" of the Vietnam War.

Tucker's next textbook series is titled The Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Like its Vietnam predecessor, the Korean War books take an A-Z approach to the conflict, "including a host of illustrations and a detailed time line," as a Booklist contributor noted. The reviewer added that along with the essential facts of the war, "topics such as African-Americans and the Korean War, McCarthyism, and Poetry of the Korean War are covered with thought-provoking articles." "Exhaustive" is how Library Journal contributor Mel Lane characterized Encyclopedia of the Korean War, commenting that the work "will be a core source of information on what is still called the ‘Forgotten War."’

In Tucker's Vietnam, the author tracks the military and social history of the nation before and after its civil war. In his review in History, Russell Allen commented that "several issues presented here deserve classroom debate, though the chief one is unresolved." Allen explained that the Vietnamese people were stuck in a quagmire between their own civil war and the influence of foreign powers on their nation. The war's outcome "was never certain," Allen noted. "Why in the end one side did prevail is never stated in this book." Still, the reviewer recommended Vietnam as a complement to Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War and "a welcome textbook" in itself.

In 2002 Tucker saw the publication of A Short History of the Civil War at Sea, a study of the "blue water" aspects of America's nineteenth-century domestic conflict. Such innovations as the Dahlgren guns, ironclad warships, and the use of torpedoes came out of this chapter of naval history. In a Library Journal review, Kathleen Conley noted that the "expertise of the author"—Tucker is both a graduate of and a professor at the Virginia Military Institute—"is noticeably displayed in his sketches of eminent naval officers … and in his crisp discussion of significant battles."

In Brigadier General John D. Imboden: Confederate Commander in the Shenandoah, the author provides a look at the career and record of this general who held commands mostly in the western parts of Virginia during the Civil War. The author writes extensively about the guerrilla-like warfare that Imboden often oversaw. "Tucker is at his best in the central sections of the book describing bushwackers and ‘Swamp Dragoons’ and raids on railroad bridges and oil fields, where Imboden's principal missions were typically expeditions to distract the enemy and gather supplies," wrote Mark F. Miller in the Journal of Southern History.

The author provides another military history with his book Stephen Decatur: A Life Most Bold and Daring. Decatur was an American naval officer who received acclaim for his heroism in the War of 1812 and other conflicts. The author delves into Decatur's career, which included being the youngest man to become captain in the history of the U.S. Navy. "In many ways, this book is an extraordinary academic achievement," wrote Kurt Hackemer in the Historian, adding later in the same review: "The beauty of it all is that Tucker's prose makes a difficult task seem effortless, and he is to be commended for that."

Tucker is also the editor of Encyclopedia of American Military History, a three-volume look at U.S. military history from the Revolutionary War to the terrorist bombings of September 11, 2001. With contributions from academics and military specialists, the book focuses on topics such as key participants, causes and effects of American wars, and weapons systems. The book includes a bibliography, glossary of military terms, and an index to the complete work in each volume. "The entries are easy to read, and the entire set presents a pleasing appearance," wrote a contributor to Booklist. Writing in the School Library Journal, Patricia Ann Owens referred to the encyclopedia as "a comprehensive, user-friendly resource."

The Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social, and Military History, edited by Tucker and documents editor Priscilla Mary Roberts, covers the entire scope of the war from its early roots to its ongoing impact on global politics and society. The book includes more than 1,500 entries, as well as maps and primary documents. A Reference & Research Book News contributor referred to the encyclopedia as "an impressive reference." Writing in Booklist, Stephen Fadel called the reference work "an excellent resource for high-school, public, and academic libraries." Tucker is also editor of a five-volume student version of the encyclopedia titled World War II: A Student Encyclopedia. Noting the student target audience, a Reference & Research Book News contributor commented that "there's nothing condescending about the articles or their presentation."

Tucker is also editor, along with documents editor Roberts, of The Encyclopedia of World War I: Political, Social, and Military History, which includes more than 1,200 entries covering people, events, sociopolitical issues, and other topics concerned with the war. "With international contributors from all over the globe, the set incorporates new information on topics like war-related atrocities, pacifist movements, and the establishment of postwar international tribunals," noted Michael Tosko in Booklist, adding later in the same review that the encyclopedia is "an outstanding contribution to reference works on the Great War." A Reference & Research Book News contributor noted: "This five-volume reference is thoughtfully prepared and will be useful to a wide audience."

World War I: A Student Encyclopedia contains much of the same information as The Encyclopedia of World War I but does not include some of the minor battles and individuals connected with the war and has fewer primary resource materials. Reviewing the student version in Booklist, Kathleen McBroom noted that a "helpful feature is the boxed ‘Historical Controversy’ articles, which alert researchers to recognized topics of debate regarding tactical or political decisions that shaped the outcome of the war."

In his 2006 book, Blue & Gray Navies: The Civil War Afloat, the author writes about the role of the North and South navies during the Civil War. Using official records, memoirs, and recent scholarship, the author discusses topics such as navy personnel and organization, recruitment, training, and senior leadership. He also examines major battles and technological innovations that occurred during the war.

Tucker is also editor of two books published in 2007 that focus on the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union: the five-volume Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia of the Cold War: A Political, Social, and Military History. The volumes include information from newly declassified government and military documents. Noting that the text entries to the two volumes are "identical," Booklist contributor Mary Ellen Quinn wrote that "there are nearly 200 fewer entries in the student set," adding: "There are, however, considerably more visual materials, including charts, illustrations and maps. Other features designed to make the set appealing to highschoolers are a larger font and more white space." In a review of Cold War, Madeleine G. Wright wrote in the School Library Journal: "The comprehensiveness and clarity of this work make it a useful resource."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February, 1995, review of The Jeffersonian Gunboat Navy, p. 231.

American Libraries, May, 1999, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social and Military History, p. 72.

American Reference Books Annual, 1997, review of The European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia, p. 212; 1999, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 214.

Booklist, July, 1996, review of The European Powers in the First World War, p. 1843; November 15, 1998, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 787; October 15, 2000, review of Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History, p. 482; September 1, 2003, review of Encyclopedia of American Military History, p. 167; May 1, 2005, Stephen Fadel, review of The Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social, and Military History, p. 1604; March 15, 2006, Kathleen McBroom, review of World War I: A Student Encyclopedia, p. 79; May 1, 2006, Michael Tosko, review of The Encyclopedia of World War I: A Political, Social, and Military History, p. 100; November 15, 2007, Mary Ellen Quinn "Cold War Pair," review of Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia of the Cold War: A Political, Social, and Military History, p. 69.

Canadian Journal of History, April, 2000, Hubert Johnson, review of The Great War, 1914-1918, p. 157.

Choice, November, 1996, review of The European Powers in the First World War, p. 428; December, 1996, review of Injured Honor: The Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, June 22, 1807, p. 679; June, 1998, review of The Great War, 1914-1918, p. 1762.

English Historical Review, November, 1999, Brian Bond, review of The Great War, 1914-1918, p. 1361.

Historian, summer, 1999, Russell Allen, review of Vietnam, p. 180; summer, 2006, Kurt Hackemer, review of Stephen Decatur: A Life Most Bold and Daring, p. 360; June 22, 2007, Kurt Hackemer, review of Stephen Decatur, p. 316.

History Review, March, 1999, Vyvyen Brendon, review of The Great War, 1914-1918, p. 48.

International Migration Review, summer, 2001, Dennis Bixler-Marquez, review of Vietnam, p. 626.

Journal of Military History, January, 1997, review of Injured Honor, p. 163, review of The European Powers in the First World War, p. 174.

Journal of Southern History, February, 1995, review of The Jeffersonian Gunboat Navy, p. 131; August, 2004, Mark F. Miller, review of Brigadier General John D. Imboden: Confederate Commander in the Shenandoah, p. 688.

Library Journal, April 15, 1999, Brian Coutts and John Richard, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 56; June 15, 2000, Anthony Edmonds, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 68; October 1, 2000, Mel Lane, review of Encyclopedia of the Korean War, p. 82; February 1, 2002, Kathleen Conley, review of A Short History of the Civil War at Sea, p. 115; August 1, 2003, Charles M. Minyard, review of Encyclopedia of American Military History, p. 70; August 1, 2005, Ed Goedeken, review of The Encyclopedia of World War II, p. 124; March 15, 2006, Patricia Arrington, review of World War I, p. 102.

Reference and Research Book News, September, 1996, review of The European Powers in the First World War, p. 8; February, 1999, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 31; August, 2005, review of The Encyclopedia of World War II, p. 31; August, 2005, review of World War II: A Student Encyclopedia, p. 31; February, 2006, review of The Encyclopedia of World War I,; February, 2006, review of World War I; February, 2007, review of Blue & Gray Navies: The Civil War Afloat; November, 2007, review of Encyclopedia of the Cold War; February, 2008, review of Cold War.

Reference & User Services Quarterly, fall, 2003, Steven R. Edscorn, review of Encyclopedia of American Military History, p. 80; winter, 2005, Peter H. Sezzi, review of The Encyclopedia of World War II, p. 171; spring, 2006, Albert Hallenberg, review of World War II, p. 265.

School Library Journal, November, 1996, review of The European Powers in the First World War, p. 139; February, 1999, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 140; October, 2003, Patricia Ann Owens, review of Encyclopedia of American Military History, p. 109; August, 2005, Madeleine G. Wright, review of The Encyclopedia of World War II, p. 78; April, 2006, Mary Mueller, review of The Encyclopedia of World War I, p. 92; February, 2008, Madeleine G. Wright, review of Cold War, p. 78.

Times Literary Supplement, February 5, 1999, review of Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, p. 5.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1996, review of The European Powers in the First World War, p. 299.