Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the ‘Lusitania’

Erik Larson. Crown, $28 (464p) ISBN 978-0-307-40886-0
With a narrative as smooth as the titular passenger liner, Larson (In the Garden of Beasts) delivers a riveting account of one of the most tragic events of WWI. The fact a German U-boat sank the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland in May 1915 is undisputed, so Larson crafts the story as historical suspense by weaving information about the war and the development of submarine technology with an interesting cast of characters. He expertly builds tension up to the final encounter. An unanticipated sequence of events put the Lusitania in the path of Capt. Walther Schwieger’s U-20, and he didn’t hesitate to open fire. The Lusitania’s captain, the capable and accomplished William Thomas Turner, did everything in his power to avert the catastrophe, but fate intervened, taking the lives of 1,195 passengers and crew members, including 123 Americans. Despite the stunning loss of life, President Woodrow Wilson held firm to American neutrality in the war, at least in 1915. Larson convincingly constructs his case for what happened and why, and by the end, we care about the individual passengers we’ve come to know—a blunt reminder that war is, at its most basic, a matter of life and death. Illus. Agent: David Black, David Black Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/05/2015
Release date: 03/10/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 672 pages - 978-0-8041-9461-7
Ebook - 313 pages - 978-0-553-44675-3
Ebook - 521 pages - 978-1-925113-70-9
Compact Disc - 11 pages - 978-0-553-55162-4
Paperback - 480 pages
Compact Disc
Show other formats
FORMATS
Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X