Erik Larson’s New Book Dead Wake

January 20, 2015

Remember the Lusitania! Remember the Lusitania? If not, Erik Laron’s got you covered with his new book Dead Wake on the maritime incident that helped draw us into World War I. The publisher description is below. There are still fewer holds than ordered copies – I’m trying to forestall much Hold Purchase Alert cleanup on this one.

By the way, Becky has pointed out this link to several anniversaries of note this year.  My favorite is the Magna Carta – how often do you get to celebrate an octocentennial?

From thDead wake : the last crossing of the Lusitaniae #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.

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