Monday, January 18, 2016

Dead Wake - Erik Larson

Subtitle: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

I read this for one of my book clubs, though it seems I've been on an "oceans" kick of late.  I really enjoyed the author's earlier books: In the Garden of the Beast, Isaac's Storm and The Devil in the White City.  This one did not disappoint.

The Lusitania was an ocean liner in the early 1900's that was sunk on a voyage from New York City to Liverpool on May 17, 1915, during World War I, before the Americans joined the fighting.  Almost 1200 people died and two years later America joined the war.

The story goes back and forth between the passengers on the ship, President Woodrow Wilson's state of mind after the death of his wife earlier in the year and its effect on his response to the tragedy, and the German U-boat captain and crew.  It's a fascinating slice of history and a fresh reminder of the atrocities that are committed when countries wage war.

I was expecting to find a list of the passengers and where they were from but it was not included in the book.  I found one at a site dedicated to the ship---had to check for ancestors!

Published: 2015  Read:  January 2016  Genre: History

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