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Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy by Diana Preston

Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy (edition 2002)

by Diana Preston

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Title:Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy
Authors:Diana Preston
Info:Walker & Company (2002), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 544 pages
Collections:Your library

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Lusitania by Diana Preston

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This was a very interesting book. I liked that the writer was able to provide us with details of the survivors but also that we got to know the people that died. So many. The way Britain, America and Germany played a role in all of this is also an eye opener.
I do not understand why there is always so much talk about The Titanic. To me this tragedy was even worse. All the babies that died, and the boats that they tried to pull to the sea but in the meantime crashing and killing people. It was not a quick read for me (I although i admit I must guess when i finished it, did not keep track of my reading lately) ( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
"Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy," by Diana Preson, is a thouroughly impressive book -- one of those rare volumes that combines meticulous scholarly research with a highly readable writing style. This book is a stunning account of a massive, heart-rending tragedy which probably altered the course of a World War.

In the first section, "Troubled Waters," Preson sets the scene with relevant background information, acquainting the reader with basic information about WWI, the navies of Germany and Britain (especially their respective submarine fleets), trans-Atlantic passenger service in general, and the massive ocean liner Lusitania in particular. The writing is accessible to those of us with limited knowledge of these subjects, but includes nuggets that more informed readers will surely treasure.

Part two, "The Final Crossing," begins with a warning from Germany which appeared in newspapers just before the great ship sailed. Preston then carries us across the Atlantic with the Lusitania, introducing the reader to some of her passengers and crew. More ominously, we are taken aboard the U-20 to meet the captain and some crew memebers of the submarine which will fire the fatal torpedo.

"An Ocean Red with Blood" is Preston's title for Part 3 -- an apt description of the scene of the disaster after the torpedo hits the great ocean liner. One of Preson's strengths as a writer is the skillful use of quotations, and it is especially effective as we hear the actual words of survivors and witnesses describing the chaos which attended the sinking of the ship and the rescue and recovery efforts.

Preson then analyzes the effect of the sinking upon world opinion and the outcome of WWI, as recruiting posters trumpeted "Remember the Lusitania" and the German government scrambled to do damage control. Finally, Preston tackles the question: under international law of the time, was the torpedoing of Lusitania, indeed, "Wilful Murder?" (It may seem obvious, but there are complex factors to be considered.)

I highly recommend this book. ( )
2 vote tymfos | Aug 23, 2009 |
This was a well researched book yet was amazingly personal. ( )
  amykjensen | Jan 6, 2008 |
3596. Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy, by Diana Preston (read 7 July 2002) Back on May 5, 1970, I read a book by A.A. and Mary Hoehling on the Lusitania, but my memory of the book is dim and I am glad I read this new book, which probably will be the definitive book on the sinking on May 7, 1915. This was a book hard to lay down, and was a great reading experience. ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 18, 2007 |
Pre-WWI ( )
  IraSchor | Apr 9, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425189988, Paperback)

On May 7, 1915, a German submarine sank the British passenger ship Lusitania on the high seas, killing some 1,200 people, among them the magnate Alfred Vanderbilt and the renowned author Elbert Hubbard. In this swiftly paced reconstruction, Diana Preston examines the events of that day and its aftermath--and hints at some tantalizing secrets. Among other things, the sinking of the Lusitania and the death of scores of American passengers helped draw the United States into World War I. Yet, Preston observes, it was no sneak attack; the German government had gone out of its way to warn prospective passengers that the English ship, as a military reserve vessel, was a fair target. And for good reason, though the Germans may not have known it; Preston suggests that it may well have been carrying armaments, which does much to explain why the British government suppressed a fact-finding inquest following the sinking. Whatever the truth, the destruction of the Lusitania had far-reaching effects--not least of them the Kaiser's ordering a stop to unrestricted submarine warfare. Preston's richly detailed, highly readable history sheds new light on the incident and the conduct of modern war. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:20 -0400)

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Examines the sinking of the Lusitania on May 17, 1915 by a German torpedo which killed 1200 civilians.

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