Lusitania

Lusitania

Saga And Myth

Book - 2002
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The saga of the Lusitania is one of the most remarkable in the annals of maritime history. State-of-the-art when she went into service and the first express liner to be equipped with steam turbines, she outclassed all her rivals. She triumphantly restored British supremacy on the North Atlantic passenger routes and became an acknowledged commercial success; she was highly popular with her regular passengers. Her sinking in May 1915 by a German U-boat, with heavy loss of life, was at that time the most savage attack on civilians in the course of war, and was widely denounced in allied and neutral countries. From that day her loss has become encrusted with legends (including conspiracy theories), many of them created by German propaganda. In this new book David Ramsay has unraveled those myths and legends and tells a clear and compelling saga of terrible maritime disaster and clashes among three powerful nations. It is a story of potentates and presidents, ambassadors and ministers of state, bankers, shipping magnates, spies, and, not least, Captain William Turner, who had to defend himself against charges of incompetence and fight for his reputation. Based on detailed research, this new book almost certainly contains the most objective account of the history of the liner and the circumstances surrounding her sinking. The sinking of Lusitania, which took a mere eighteen minutes, led to a loss of life comparable with the Titanic disaster, and the ramifications were felt across Europe and America; this masterly telling of the story will intrigue the general reader as much as it does the historian and enthusiast.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2002, c2001.
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780393050998
0393050998
Branch Call Number: 940.4514 Ram 3701 1
Characteristics: xii, 308 pages : illustrations, map.

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Jun 09, 2012

Lusitania: Saga and Myth ----- by David Ramsay. Expecting a good read about the sinking of this ocean liner? Expecting to peer through the periscope of the German U boat that sent this ship to the bottom in a mere eighteen minutes? Expecting a tale in the manner of the loss of the Titanic? Well, sorry to disappoint you: this is a scholarly book not a volume to pull at the heartstrings like a screenplay for a Saturday night movie. Oh yes, the sinking of the vessel is detailed but so are all the details both before and after: the hearings and inquiries held afterword to mete out and apportion guilt and responsibility for this fateful event. The myths of the sinking are laid to rest: the various conspiracy theories as well as the role of the sinking relative to the entry of the US into the war.
In spite of its meticulous approach, the book is eminently readable, especially by those with a greater interest in Lusitania’s end. The casual reader, however, will probably find him or herself overwhelmed.

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