Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner

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Overview

“Maxtone-Graham’s take on the Titanic will be catnip to the ship’s dedicated buffs.”—Publishers Weekly
This is a book unlike any other. Rather than offering simply a detailed retelling of the Titanic sinking on her maiden voyage, John Maxtone-Graham devotes his considerable knowledge and impeccable prose to a discussion of salient, provocative, and rarely investigated components of the story, including dramatic survivors’ accounts of the events of the fateful night, the role of newly in-vented wireless ...

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Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner

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Overview

“Maxtone-Graham’s take on the Titanic will be catnip to the ship’s dedicated buffs.”—Publishers Weekly
This is a book unlike any other. Rather than offering simply a detailed retelling of the Titanic sinking on her maiden voyage, John Maxtone-Graham devotes his considerable knowledge and impeccable prose to a discussion of salient, provocative, and rarely investigated components of the story, including dramatic survivors’ accounts of the events of the fateful night, the role of newly in-vented wireless telecommunication in the disaster, the construction and its ramifications at the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and the dawn rendezvous with the rescue ship Carpathia. Richly written and vividly detailed, this is the book Titanic buffs have been waiting for.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
...this is a well-written work that will appeal especially to Titanic buffs, who will appreciate a different perspective.— Jay Freeman
Jay Freeman - Booklist
“...this is a well-written work that will appeal especially to Titanic buffs, who will appreciate a different perspective.”
Booklist - Jay Freeman
“...this is a well-written work that will appeal especially to Titanic buffs, who will appreciate a different perspective.”
Jonathan Yardley
So much has been written about this dreadful event…that it is difficult to imagine there is much more to be said, yet John Maxtone-Graham says it. He is an octogenarian who has been sailing ocean liners for ages and writing about them for four decades in about two dozen books, the first of which, The Only Way to Cross (1972), remains his best known and is still in print…Titanic Tragedy may join it in popularity, not merely because the public's thirst for anything about the Titanic seems to be unslaked but because Maxtone-Graham puts some interesting twists on a much-told story.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
With the century mark nearing for the Titanic’s sinking into the frigid Atlantic waters, Maxton-Graham (The Only Way to Cross), a leading authority on maritime matters, dissects the underlying elements of the mythic ocean disaster in this richly detailed new book. Rather than rehashing the already well-known events of the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage on April 14, 1912, he chooses to sort through the essential pieces of the grim puzzle, pointing out the building of the liner at the renowned Harland and Wolff shipyard and the important role of wireless communication after the ship’s fatal collision with a huge iceberg. The carefully choreographed narrative includes the national coal strike that began that spring and almost delayed the Titanic’s voyage, and Capt. Stanley Lord, piloting the Californian, which stopped near the sinking ship but ignored its distress rockets. Bolstered by survivor tales, Maxton-Graham’s take on the Titanic will be catnip to the ship’s dedicated buffs. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This subject is familiar to Maxtone-Graham, who edited and annotated Violet Jessop's posthumously published Titanic Survivor. He's an expert on ocean liners and frequently lectures on cruise ships. He says the Titanic story has captivated him from his earliest research, and he makes his passion for it clear in elegant and engaging prose. He discusses some infrequently examined aspects of the sinking, such as the role Morse code and wireless telegraphy played in the rescue of survivors and how the victims were memorialized. The final chapter is a treat for fans of the author's friend Walter Lord (A Night To Remember); it includes several letters Lord composed as if he were a Titanic passenger, offering a clever departure from his usual seriousness about the topic. VERDICT Maxtone-Graham's command of sources is indisputable, but endnotes would have been welcome. Aficionados might be familiar with some of the information here, but should still want this book.
Kirkus Reviews
One of the deans of maritime history returns with some sidebars to enlarge the hefty history of the Titanic. One of the most appealing features of Maxtone-Graham's (Normandie: France's Legendary Art Deco Ocean Liner, 2007, etc.) approach is his generous gratitude and affection for his mentor, Walter Lord (1917–2002), whose A Night to Remember (1955) was a bestseller that ignited one of the first firestorms of interest in the disaster. The author looks closely at a number of aspects of the case, beginning with the developments of Morse code and the Marconi wireless, techniques and inventions that lowered the loss of life that night. He also examines the design and construction and departure of the ship and talks of recent visits to the sites, where, he notes sadly, "there is less and less to preserve." He recalls the near-collision at departure with the nearby New York; a passenger filmed the episode, but the footage sank with the ship. Maxtone-Graham also writes about the chaos and human tragedy associated with the loading and lowering of the too-few lifeboats, and adds some grimly humorous details about how people managed without chamber pots. He revisits the case of the nearby Californian, which sat still and did not respond; he takes us aboard the crowded Carpathia, the ship that rescued the hundreds of survivors. The author also reminds us of the musicians who played--and died--that night and is saddened by the vandalism that has damaged a number of Titanic memorials. Small details enriched with deep emotion and dramatic irony.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393343601
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/25/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 393,408
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John Maxtone-Graham is the author of The Only Way to Cross, which has been in print for almost forty years. He lives in New York City when not lecturing aboard ocean liners and cruise ships.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Titanic rooks!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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