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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Do I really need to tell you that Erik Larson's new book is excellent? No. But I'm going to anyway, because it is just that good. You might think that you know the story of the Lusitania, but Larson has woven together all the stray threads of history to create a complex, complete picture of the event that eventually forced the US into WWI. Following not only the voyage of the Lusitania, but that of the U-Boat who would sink her, as well as President Wilson and other, Dead Wake is an utterly fascinating glimpse into history. Larson continues to be one of the best non-fiction authors writing today, and I absolutely loved this book

— Flannery

When the Lusitania sank near Ireland, it took 1,200 dead souls with it. The disaster pulled America into an already roiling World War I, shifting history's course in its wake. Dead Wake is masterfully crafted. Erik Larson’s pace and tone are akin to reading fiction. His lush backgrounds create the illusion of standing on the doomed deck or looking over Churchill's shoulder in Britain's secret intelligence building. He paints rich characters and, even knowing the outcome, keeps you in suspense until the bitter end.

— Ivy

Description


#1 New York Times Bestseller

From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, 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 surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds"--the fastest liner then in service--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.

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 and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow 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 whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

About the Author


Erik Larson is the author of five national bestsellers, including The Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts, which have collectively sold more than 6.5 million copies. His books have been published in seventeen countries.


Coverage from NPR



Product Details
ISBN: 9780307408860
ISBN-10: 0307408868
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 448
Language: English

 

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