Act of War

Act of War

Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101638644
  • 448 Pages
  • NAL
  • Adult


“I devoured Act of War the way I did Flyboys, Flags of our Fathers and Lost in Shangri-la.” —Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

In 1968, the small, dilapidated American spy ship USS Pueblo set out to pinpoint military radar stations along the coast of North Korea. Though packed with advanced electronic-surveillance equipment and classified intelligence documents, its crew, led by ex–submarine officer Pete Bucher, was made up mostly of untested young sailors.

On a frigid January morning, the Pueblo was challenged by a North Korean gunboat. When Bucher tried to escape, his ship was quickly surrounded by more boats, shelled and machine-gunned, forced to surrender, and taken prisoner. Less than forty-eight hours before the Pueblo’s capture, North Korean commandos had nearly succeeded in assassinating South Korea’s president. The two explosive incidents pushed Cold War tensions toward a flashpoint.

Based on extensive interviews and numerous government documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, Act of War tells the riveting saga of Bucher and his men as they struggled to survive merciless torture and horrendous living conditions set against the backdrop of an international powder keg.


Samuel Eliot Morison Prize – winner


“I devoured Act of War the way I did Flyboys, Flags of our Fathers and Lost in Shangri-la.” —Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

“Comprehensive and compelling… a narrative as fascinating as any fictional spy story…  Act of War is likely to be the definitive account of the Pueblo incident.”—The Virginian–Pilot

“Outstanding and necessary.”Booklist, starred review
Act of War is international in scope, well written, and an enjoyable read….highly recommended….[a] gripping account of personal service, tragedy, sacrifice, and perseverance of the crew that played out within the heightened international tensions of the Cold War.”—Proceedings

“Jack Cheevers’s true account of the USS Pueblo will not only glue you to your seat, you’ll be stunned anyone survived at all.”—John Geoghegan, author of Operation Storm
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