Dead Wake

Dead Wake

The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

eBook - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
#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.

Baker & Taylor
A chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as Woodrow Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat, and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.

& Taylor

The #1 New York Times best-selling author of In the Garden of Beasts presents a 100th-anniversary chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania that discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as President Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat and architect Theodate Pope Riddle. Includes two maps.

Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, [2014]
ISBN: 9780553446753
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor
Alternative Title: Last crossing of the Lusitania
Bib Control Number: 99354


From the critics

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Aug 18, 2020

rec. by Susan Meissner (along with some of the other titles - though, they can be hard reads) during author access w/RAR

Jul 08, 2020

Had to come back and review this one, it's been pinging around in my head ever since.

Erik Larson does it again with a phenomenal recounting of the sinking of the Lusitania, complete with setting the international stage for the sinking, from the multi-country political musings and communique down to the German U-Boat captain, regularly revisited, who is stalking ships along the British coast and comes upon the ultimate prize.

He plunges into the daily lives of persons from different economic classes on the boat itself while setting the international stage, and you follow them to and through the climactic event.

It was truly a great read, especially if you have an interest in historical sinkings, or if would like a much more personalized recounting of the sinking of the Lusitania.

Jun 07, 2020

A very good telling of the sinking as well as the way people were back then. A bit slow during the first 50, or so pages. Once it sails from NYC the tale picks up. The nagging question of what the Admiralty will do - or won't do - propels the tale along. You definitely end up with a fuller understanding of the times, the politics, and why we finally entered WW1.

Apr 24, 2020

Another great read from Erik Larson. The detailed descriptions of time and place make you feel as though you are strolling among all the passengers aboard the doomed Lusitania. Considering we know how it ends, he creates lots of suspense as we wonder who will survive the tragedy. Highly recommend.

Apr 23, 2020

#2 Larson read of the pandemic; recommended by Mimi, 4-day read

Mar 22, 2020

This book was a good choice for me to read as it told me more about the events that lead up to the sinking of the Lusitania in WWI. I liked the detail that was included about how the Admiralty of Britain was handling the U-boat threats and what actions they took. I also liked the accounts of passengers that were traveling on the Lusitania and how they felt about the Germans' warning of sinking the Lusitania. After reading this book, I feel more informed about the sinking of the Lusitania.

Dec 06, 2019

I didn't know much of anything about the Lusitania so reading this book was enlightening. An extremely well researched book that includes the psyche of the world as it enters WWI and how the Lusitania was basically allowed to be torpedoed. It included Pres Wilson, the Ship's Captain and the Admiralty of UK plus assorted passengers from the ship. The detail is amazing on each of theses entities. History comes alive while reading this book!

Oct 24, 2019

"Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania" by Erik Larson is an historical account of the sinking of the most prominent ocean liner of its time. Everyone knows that a German submarine fired a torpedo and brought the U.S. into the First World War. However, it did not. The ship sank. The U.S. stayed neutral for two more years. I found this the most surprising fact. The sinking was an outrage. It became the pre-imminent outrage. Just not the outrage that precipitated the U.S. into joining the Allies. A surprising fact, for me.

Oct 10, 2019

I loved this book, Larson's writing style is brilliant. I read it in 2 days. 5 stars

Aimee M Trudel
Sep 17, 2019

Jan Reynolds' recommendation

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Feb 17, 2016

A riveting account of how the Luisitania was sunk by the Nazis, what happened to the crew and the passengers, and how this event forced the U.S. into WWI.

Apr 20, 2015

A compelling read. Larson is a master of relating history in an engrossing fashion. Surprising to learn how various circumstances and events, deliberate and by chance, converged in one moment that resulted in this epic disaster.


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