The Titanic For Dummies

The Titanic For Dummies

by Stephen J. Spignesi


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The Titanic For Dummies paints the whole picture of the most famous maritime disaster. It examines the building of the ship, life onboard during its maiden voyage, tragic decisions made that fateful night, the discovery of the wreck, and the many controversies that have emerged in the century since the sinking. Information includes:

  • Theories behind the reason for the sinking (does the blame lie with the watertight doors, bad rivets, or crew negligence?), and when and where the ship split in two.
  • A detailed look at how the lack of lifeboats — and the chaos that resulted in lifeboats launching before they reached capacity — resulted in lives lost.
  • A Titanic “Who’s Who” identifying notable passengers, including those who were famous before the tragedy and those who gained fame because of it.
  • Current thinking about reports of shots being fired onboard, the details of Captain Smith’s death, Murdoch’s possible suicide, and the band’s last song.
  • Findings from the Titanic hearings on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • A recounting of Robert Ballard’s discovery of the wreck in 1985 and the ongoing debate over whether to salvage the wreck or let the ship remain as a memorial to those who perished.
  • A glimpse of the most fascinating artifacts salvaged from the wreckage.
  • The Titanic in pop culture: from Broadway to one of the most highest grossing movies in history (being re-released in 3D in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118177662
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/24/2012
Series: For Dummies Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stephen Spignesi is the bestselling author of more than 50 books. He is a Practitioner in Residence at the University of New Haven in Connecticut where he teaches Composition and Literature, Writing, and courses on Stephen King and the Titanic.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: The Titanic: A Century of Legend 7

Chapter 1: Why the Titanic Endures 9

Chapter 2: Building the Ship of Dreams 19

Chapter 3: From Royalty to Rats: Who Sailed on the Titanic 33

Chapter 4: Life Onboard: From Breakfast and Lunch to Steerage and Bunks 55

Part II: Tragedy at Sea: The Titanic Sinks on Its Maiden Voyage 71

Chapter 5: Four Days of Smooth Sailing 73

Chapter 6: The Collision and Sinking 83

Chapter 7: Surviving the Sinking of the Titanic 99

Chapter 8: “I Was There”: Firsthand Accounts of the Sinking 121

Chapter 9: How the World Learned about the Titanic’s Loss 149

Chapter 10: Investigating the Titanic’s Demise 163

Part III: Exploring Enduring Titanic Mysteries 187

Chapter 11: Doomed from the Start? Studying What Went Wrong 189

Chapter 12: Lingering Questions about the Titanic’s Final Hours 201

Chapter 13: Foreshadowing the Tragedy? The 1898 Novella The Wreck of the Titan 213

Part IV: The Quest to Recover the Titanic 219

Chapter 14: Looking at Early Attempts to Raise the Titanic 221

Chapter 15: The Quest of the Century: The 1985 Discovery of the Wreck 233

Part V: The Titanic in Popular Culture 247

Chapter 16: Salvaging the Titanic and Its Artifacts 249

Chapter 17: Presenting the Titanic Story on Screen and on Stage 265

Part VI: The Part of Tens 275

Chapter 18: Ten Fascinating Titanic Artifacts 277

Chapter 19: Ten Titanic Myths Debunked 285

Chapter 20: Ten Terrifi c Titanic Documentaries 293

Appendix: A Titanic Timeline 301

Index 309

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The Titanic For Dummies 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking looming (April 14-15, 2012), there will, no doubt, be a myriad of books published to commemorate the event. The popular “Dummies” series, which has published books on such varied topics as meditation to stock investing, has jumped into the fray with their offering, The Titanic for Dummies. For those intrigued by the legend that is the Titanic, this is one book that will put everything neatly together in an interesting and educational package. The Titanic for Dummies is broken up into six parts - A Century of Legend, The Titanic Sinks on its Maiden Voyage, Exploring Enduring Titanic Mysteries, The Quest to Recover the Titanic, The Titanic in Popular Culture, The Part of Tens (short chapters with top tens lists). The chapters within each part examine just about everything you could think of related to the giant ship from what passengers ate, how they entertained themselves, the sinking, the investigations (including testimony), and even debunking myths. While there are not many photos in this book, that’s truly the only thing I would change. The book was well written and for anybody interested in the topic, it will prove fascinating. The sections with background on passengers and their fates, as well as survivors’ accounts, lend a realism that proves quite haunting. The history of the Titanic isn’t simply a history of a ship sinking, but of lives lost, families torn apart, and the aftermath of what surviving such a horrible night had on so many people. Quill says: Author Stephen Spignesi is to be commended for putting together such a complete, fascinating, insightful book that examines every facet of the Titanic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The titanic museum in pigeon forge tennesse has a lot of facts too there is also a big book of facts about titanic it is really neat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This id the best book ever.i give it b14,890,763
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gives just about every detail and tid-bit of information that you could possibly need or want! very interesting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago