Captain Robert Shenk, USN (ret.),
was captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve who taught at the U.S. Naval and Air Force academies, is a professor of English at the
University of New Orleans. According to his biography at the University of New Orleans, “A retired captain in the U.S.
Naval Reserve, Shenk spent some eleven years on active naval duty, part of that service on destroyers and river patrol boats
in Vietnam, and the rest of it a professor at two service academies. He put together several naval-related literary projects
in the 1990s, including a co-authored biography of Admiral Dan Gallery and an edition of World War II naval memoirs called
Authors at Sea, which was a selection of the History Book Club.
Professor Bob Shenk wrote his dissertation in the Medieval/Renaissance tradition of moral philosophy
as it underlies the drama; it was published by Salzburg Studies in English Literature as The Sinners Progress: A Study of
Madness in English Renaissance Drama. Dr. Shenk has also published articles on Medieval Romance, Jacobean Drama, and 18th
Century Literature. At UNO, he continues his work in earlier English Literature: he regularly teaches Milton, frequently writes
reviews for the Ben Jonson Journal, and occasionally teaches Shakespeare.”
Captain Robert Shenk is the author
of Naval Institute Guide to Naval Writing. He is also the editor of Authors
at Sea: Modern American Writers Remember Their Naval Service; and a co-author of Admiral Dan Gallery:
The Life and Wit of a Navy Original.
According to the book description
of Admiral Dan Gallery: The Life and Wit of a Navy Original, “In his foreword to this biography
about a great friend, Herman Wouk describes the book as "the unadorned truth about . . . a decidedly human gentleman
with human failings, more than balanced by rare willpower, brainpower, and humor." A maverick with less than reverential
views of the navy that was his life for more than forty years, Gallery was a man of strong character and sharp wit who never
shied from controversies and who became known as a formidable opponent. Through the years he repeatedly took courageous public
stands on matters of naval policy, including the "Revolt of the Admirals," that nearly cost him his career.
Gallery is best
known for his dramatic capture of a German submarine (U-505) on the high seas, the first such taking of an enemy vessel since
the War of 1812, and for his forceful support of aircraft carriers after the war. He also is known for his success as a writer,
and the best of his work makes up a significant part of this book--excerpts from magazine articles, short stories, and letters
that are incorporated into this biography by two English professors who vividly portray the highly original man behind the
deeds and the writings.
Readers will learn about each stage
of Gallery's life, from his days at the Naval Academy when he called the Secretary of the Navy's son a draft dodger--and
then knocked him out--to his humorous stories about navy life and his final essays and books on such controversial subjects
as the Pueblo incident. They will also come to appreciate his public relations successes in getting U-505 moved to Chicago,
in sponsoring baseball competitions, and in establishing the navy's steel band.”
According to the book description
of Naval Institute Guide to Naval Writing, “Written by a naval officer who taught English
at two service academies, this is the third edition of the premier guide to professional writing for the naval services. The
book is widely used by officers, enlisted men and women and civilians in both the Navy and Marine Corps. Shenk provides sound,
practical advice on all common naval writing assignments. This third edition adds a new chapter on writing emails and updates
the whole book to take account of the way naval writing is done in today's computer age.”
According to a reader of Authors at Sea: Modern
American Writers Remember Their Naval Service, “This gem of a small book is a wonderful compilation of
reminiscences of a few great, not so great, famous and not so famous people who served our nation at sea during war and peace.
My favorite is Alex Haley's essay on The Most Unforgettable Character.... This is a great short read, wonderfully informative
and chock full of great personal stories.”