Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers’ Favorite
People often told John T. Wayne, author of An American Heritage, that he looked a lot like the well-known actor John Wayne. Even Maureen O’Hara, who often worked in films with John Wayne, noticed the resemblance. John T. Wayne knew that merely resembling John Wayne didn’t necessarily mean that they were related, but he was told about the similarity so many times that he decided to research the family history to try to find out if he was related to the actor. Even though his family was reluctant to provide him with the information he wanted, over the years he found overwhelming evidence that he was John Wayne’s grandson. John T. Wayne was born Terry Wayne Hammock. He later changed his name legally to reflect his relationship with John Wayne. The book contains many photos of the author, his father, and John Wayne.
An American Heritage by John T. Wayne is a fascinating book. Although it’s non-fiction, it reads like an intriguing novel written in the first person. It was especially interesting to read about how John T. Wayne compiled evidence, examining fact after fact that he dug up and fitting them together like a puzzle. He eventually determined that he was indeed John Wayne’s grandson. I also admired John T. Wayne’s persistence in discovering his heritage and possible relationship with John Wayne, even though some of what he found wasn’t always positive or flattering to his extended family. This book may inspire some readers to research their genealogy, not because they’re looking for famous ancestors, but because at some point most people want to know where they came from.
AN AMERICAN HERITAGE
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