Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History

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Overview

On April 15, 1912, the HMS Titanic sank, killing 1,517 people and leaving the rest clinging to debris in the frozen waters of the North Atlantic awaiting rescue. Here, historian Nick Barratt tells the ship’s full story, starting from its original conception and design by owners and naval architects at the White Star Line through its construction at the shipyards in Belfast. Lost Voices From the Titanic offers tales of incredible folly and unimaginable courage—the aspirations of the ...

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Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History

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Overview

On April 15, 1912, the HMS Titanic sank, killing 1,517 people and leaving the rest clinging to debris in the frozen waters of the North Atlantic awaiting rescue. Here, historian Nick Barratt tells the ship’s full story, starting from its original conception and design by owners and naval architects at the White Star Line through its construction at the shipyards in Belfast. Lost Voices From the Titanic offers tales of incredible folly and unimaginable courage—the aspirations of the owners, the efforts of the crew, and of course, the eyewitness accounts from those lucky enough to survive.

In narrating the definitive history of the famous ship, Barratt draws from never before seen archive material and eyewitness accounts by participants at every stage of the Titanic’s life. These long-lost voices bring new life to those heartbreaking moments on the fateful Sunday night when families were torn apart and the legend of the Titanic was cemented in our collective imagination. 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Barratt (columnist, Daily Telegraph, London) begins by placing HMS Titanic in historical context with a brief history of the ship's owners and builders. The heart of the story, however, involves survivors' accounts of the voyage and wreck. Here Barratt relies on archival material, much from the UK's National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. This material is compelling to read in full, but Barratt's connecting narrative is uneven. He presents some primary sources without any analysis, while from others he derives baffling conclusions. Several easily avoidable mistakes and inconsistencies (e.g., the number of survivors, which does vary among sources, but Barratt fails to comment on this) are disappointing. The inclusion of excerpts from the official British and American inquiries but not from other authoritative sources further calls into question the book's claim to be comprehensive. And if this is meant to be about the "lost voices," some illustrations of the people featured, instead of the usual images of the ship, would have been enlightening. VERDICT This is not a "definitive" work, nor does it contain actual oral histories, nor were the sources (voices) in any way "lost." However, Barratt's transcripts of some lesser-known primary sources may make this a good companion piece to other books on this subject.—Megan Fraser, Univ. of California Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230622302
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,071,151
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Barratt is a broadcaster and historian. He runs Sticks Research Agency as well as writing for newspapers and various magazines. He is director of Firebird Media and is on the Public History Committee of the Historical Association. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    :)

    It is one if the best books I've ever read!!!! Knowing how thr Titanic was built is facinating and hearing hiw people survived tge Titanic was so cool!!!!! Even though it is on the high price shelf you should by it.........NOW!!!!!!!!!!:D

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    The Titanic Story Skillfully Retold

    Overall, the author provides a good summary of the history of the Titanic and its aftermath. While serious Titanic fans will find little new here--most of the information provided is available elsewhere--the book will provide a well-written, highly readable account for the novice and a useful compendium for those already acquainted with the story. It strikes this reviewer as bizarre that the author's otherwise thorough research did not disabuse him of the notion that bodies are waiting to be found at the site of the wreck, as he mentions at least twice that "as yet" none have been found.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    Since I left school I haven't been doing too much educational re

    Since I left school I haven't been doing too much educational reading. For the most part it has been books that I just want to read for fun and don't really have any kind of educational aspect to them (other than new vocab). So I decided I needed some schooling so I went for this book. It reminded me how much I don't miss reading for interpretation and for meaning.


    This book did a great job of pointing out all of the instances of gross negligence that occurred on board the Titanic. For starters, not enough life boats which was a purely aesthetic call, rather than worry about saving lives, they wanted to make room for the second class passengers to stroll the deck. Hindsight tells me that the 59% of them that died would have preferred the lifeboat. Second! Those lifeboats didn't have everything they needed on them (like food and water) and some of them were not even close to capacity. 12 people were on lifeboat 1 (7 crew, 3 men, 2 women), that boat was meant to hold 45 people. Some boats that had space they refused to let people on.


    The saddest instance was a newlywed couple who were separated even though there was space on her lifeboat for her husband and the teenage boy that the crewman threatened to shoot. There were so many things that I didn't realize happened when it came to the Titanic. Hollywood fills you with this idea that is what happened and it turns out that was wrong.


    There was no chaos to get onto the lifeboats until it was almost too late. People assumed that they would be safer on the ship and not the lifeboats. I also never knew that the United States and Great Britain launched inquires and committees into finding out what happened that night. (Add that to the list of things they don't teach you in history class) What I also found interesting was that while the Captain and the designer of the ship went down with it, Mr. Bruce Imay, the owner of the White Star Liner Company, was in one of the lifeboats while women froze to death with their babies led close in their arms. Not only did this disgust me, but it also reminded me of the recent Costal Concordia accident.


    Although Barratt does a lot of reiterating of the same facts through the whole book (not enough life boats, Ismay survived, Smith ignored warnings) I think overall he did a good job. He provided a lot of primary sources like letters and telegrams which help to make the tragedy seem more real. It was terrible, everything that happened that night including the neglect of a nearby ship to come and save the Titanic, but it is also important to learn from our mistakes which the Senate Committee ensured would happen.


    It is a little slow to start, but any history buff would enjoy it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    highly recommended for Titanic lovers!

    I have always been interested in the story and histroy of the Titanic and have read MANY books about the tragedy. This book is interesting because it is written from survivors of the sinking and continues after the fateful night. If you would like to read morwe than the story of the sinking, this is a book I'd recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Asomme Awsomr Awsome

    Good book

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    Posted May 9, 2011

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    Posted July 12, 2011

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    Posted March 11, 2011

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    Posted May 24, 2012

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2011

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