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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the…

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (edition 2015)

by Erik Larson

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2,7582113,165 (4.17)249
Title:Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Authors:Erik Larson
Info:Crown (2015), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Lusitania, WWI, U-20, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Cunard, Room 40, 40 O.B.

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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson


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English (213)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
Riveting account of the Lusitania's last voyage- and the voyage of the German submarine that sunk her. Through the skill of the author I felt like I got to know several of the passengers and crew on both vessels. People like the women who had to choose whether to do down the stairs to save one child or up to the deck to save another. Even the submarine commander became a human figure. That was what I enjoyed the most about this book - and also that I learned several new things about the Lusitania disaster, Woodrow Wilson,, and WWI that I didn't know before.
Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys history. ( )
  debs4jc | Mar 4, 2019 |
Erik Larson is a master of non-fiction.

In his telling of the sinking of the Lusitania, Larson tells the tale of a dozen people involved in the tragedy - the captains, the passengers, even the folks off the ship. It's a horrifying story of miscommunication, panic, and death. If you're familiar with the story of the Lusitania at all, then you know that the ship was primarily a passenger vessel. Merchant vessels like this were warned about sailing through war zones, and by all rights, it really should not have been torpedoed. But I'm not here to tell you the history of the Lusitania, nor assert my opinions regarding war tactics.

Larson tells this as a story, carefully balancing different perspectives to offer a full, impartial story. No matter what way you spin it, the Lusitania is a deep, troubling tragedy. Through Larson's expert storytelling, you become attached to the passengers as characters in the tale. If you're even vaguely interested in the Lusitania, WWI, maritime history or history in general, I can't recommend this enough. It's beautifully told and filled with careful research. I enjoyed it as much as one can enjoy such a history. ( )
  Morteana | Feb 22, 2019 |
Excellent account of the sinking of the Lusitania inWW1. ( )
  addunn3 | Jan 14, 2019 |
On May 1, 1915, the Lusitana sailed from New York bound for Liverpool. It has almost 2000 passengers on board. Germany had declared the seas around Britain part of the war zone, but the boat went on its course anyway. What the captain and passengers didn't know was that a German U-boat would be waiting for them when they got into the waters around Ireland and their fate would be sealed.

This story tells the stories of some of the survivors, and goes back and forth between the passengers on board of the Lusitana and Walther Schweiger who was on the U-boat that would eventually sink the Lusitana killing 1200 people (many women and children). The story recounts the time on the ship, and then what happened in the aftermath of the disaster.

I enjoyed this book. The Lusitana has come up in a historical fiction book I have read in the past, so I have been intrigued about what happened to the ship. I have to admit that I was more drawn to the story of the passengers on board the Lusitana than the second half of this story which is about the U-boat leading up to it destroying the ship. But I understand that one lead to the other, so it is a necessary part of the story.

The author ends the book with telling us what happened to some of the survivors of the boat, and also the captian of the U-boat. It is definitely worth the read, and you can't help but feeling that this loss of 1200 lives could have been completely avoided on a lot of levels. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
[Dead Wake] reported on all the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the luxury passenger steamship Lusitania by a German u-boat, causing about 1,000 civilian deaths. World War I was raging in Europe and German u-boats were terrorizing ocean travel and shipping and Woodrow Wilson was more afraid of patriotic American isolationists than he was of American deaths and property losses on the high seas. Unknown to all but a tiny cadre in the British Admiralty, intercepted wireless communications between the u-boats and their bases allowed u-boat movements to be tracked. So how was it that a lone u-boat could torpedo a singularly identifiable civilian ship off the coast of Ireland, just hours from its scheduled arrival in Liverpool? How is it the ship's captain was not warned? How it is the ship was without a British Naval escort? Another thoroughly researched and compellingly told story by Erik Larson.
  weird_O | Dec 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
If creating “an experience” is Larson’s primary goal, then “Dead Wake” largely succeeds. There are brisk cameos by Churchill and Woodrow Wilson, desperate flurries of wireless messages and telegrams, quick flashes to London and Berlin. These passages have a crackling, propulsive energy that most other books about the Lusitania — often written for disaster buffs or steampunk aficionados — sorely lack.
added by amarie | editThe New York Times, Hampton Sides (pay site) (Mar 5, 2015)

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Erik Larsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Captains are to remember that, whilst they are expected to use every diligence to secure a speedy voyage, they must run no risk which by any possibility might result in accident to their ships. They will ever bear in mind that the safety of the lives and property entrusted to their care is the ruling principle which should govern them in the navigation of their ships, and no supposed gain in expedition, or saving of time on the voyage, is to be purchased at the risk of accident. -"Rules to Be Observed in the Company's Service," The Cunard Steam-Ship Company Limited, March 1913
The first consideration is the safety of the U-boat. -Adm. Reinhard Scheer, Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War, 1919
For Chris, Kristen, Lauren, and Erin
(and Molly and Ralphie, absent, but not forgotten)
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On the night of May 6, 1915, as his ship approached the coast of Ireland, Capt. William Thomas Turner left the bridge and made his way to the first-class lounge, where passengers were taking part in a concert and talent show, a customary feature of Cunard crossings.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307408868, Hardcover)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the disaster
On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship--the fastest then in service--could outrun any threat.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small--hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more--all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:20 -0400)

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of In the Garden of Beasts presents a 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania that discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.… (more)

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