Nearly nine decades after the event, the sinking of the Titanic continues to command more attention than any other twentieth-century catatrophe. Yet most of what is commonly believed about that fateful night in 1912 is, at best, a body of myth and legend nurtured by the ship's owners and surviving officers and kept alive by generations of authors and moviemakers. That, at least, is the thesis presented in this compellingly bold, thoroughly plausible contrarian reconstruction of the last hours of the pride of the White Star Line.
The new but no-less harrowing Titanic story that Captain David G. Brown unfolds is one involving a tragic chain of errors on the part of the well-meaning crew, the pernicious influence of the ship's haughty owner, who was aboard for the maiden trip, and a fatal overconfidence in the infallibility of early twentieth-century technology. Among the most startling facts to emerge are that the Titanic did not collide with an iceberg but instead ran aground on a submerged ice shelf, resulting in damage not to the ship's sides but to the bottom of her hull. First Officer Murdoch never gave the infamous CRASH STOP ("reverse engines") order; rather, he ordered ALL STOP, allowing him to execute a nearly successful S-curve maneuver around the berg. The iceberg did not materialize unheralded from an ice-free sea; the Titanic was likely steaming at 22 1/2 knots through scattered ice, with no extra lookouts posted, for two hours or more before the fatal encounter. Visibility was not poor that night, and the only signs of haze or distortion were those produced by the ice field itself as the Titanic approached. Most startling ofall, however, is evidence that the ship might have stayed afloat long enough to permit the rescue of all passengers and crew if Captain Smith, at the behest of his employer, Bruce Ismay, had not given the order to resume steaming.
Offering a radically new interpretation of the facts surrounding the most famous shipwreck in history, The Last Log of the Titanic is certain to ignite a storm of controversy.
David G. Brown holds a U.S. Coast Guard Master's License, 100 Gross Tons, with Commercial Assistance Towing and Auxiliary Sail endorsements, and teaches professional-level U.S. Coast Guard licensing courses. He also is an instructor for a firm specializing in safety risk assessment, crew training, and license instruction, builds epoxy-composite boats, and restores vintage wooden boats. He was captain of a high-speed ferry serving the western Lake Erie islands and currently owns a harbor tour company on the Maumee River in Ohio. He has worked as a television news producer, and won an Emmy in 1979 for his coverage of the Agent Orange story. He writes monthly columns for Boating World and Offshore magazines and is a regular contributor to many other marine publications. This is his fifth book.
|Publisher:||McGraw-Hill Companies, The|
|Product dimensions:||5.74(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.73(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It has been a while since I have read a Titanic book from start to finish in one sitting, but I did with this book. The Last Log is another one of the many `alternate theories¿ of the sinking books that are so in vogue these days, but unlike most others of it¿s ilk, this one has real teeth. I am a complete layman in things nautical, but Brown enabled me to understand every point he was trying to make, even some of the more arcane concepts like Bernoulli¿s Principle and lolling. The author has written one of the most knowledgeable accounts from a mariner¿s perspective that I have ever read. In addition, Brown has gathered much of the conflicting testimony and arranged it into a cohesive whole. I did not agree with all of his conclusions (and some of them are WAY out there), but I have to acknowledge that his version of events is completely credible. For one, First Officer Murdoch¿s actions are finally recognized for what they were, that of one of the most competent officer¿s to ever command a bridge. Ismay also gets a great deal of coverage, and although his part in the story is much, much darker, the author avoids the `sinister villain¿ oversimplifications the White Star Line chairman has received at the hands of many other authors. On the other hand, Brown does make some incredible claims, often with little or no supporting evidence. One of the largest, that Titanic was dodging ice for hours before the final collision. Another being that when the ship ported around the berg, it almost collided with a huge ice field just beyond. There is simply no eyewitness evidence to support these claims. Some members on the Titanic Mail List were initially put off by the in-your-face attitude of the editorials adapted by the publisher as a selling ploy. But don¿t let that stop you from reading this book. It¿s that good. Highest recommendation. Michael (TheManInBlack) T