Dead Wake

Dead Wake

The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307408860
Characteristics: 430 pages : illustration, map ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Last crossing of the Lusitania


From Library Staff

November 2016 "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."

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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

Aug 14, 2019

The details, from U-boot technicalities to passenger anecdotes, arrested my attention throughout, and would be mundane or tedious if delivered by other writers.
I was awestruck by the movie Titanic, which is now dwarfed by my experiencing (through reading) the last crossing of the Lusitania, in addition, I was let in the secret chamber of nations' leaders and war intelligence, and guided to oversee the international power play during the war.
The chapters are ordered in the form of two (boat) targets converging, added in narratives of US headquarter alternating with UK, thus created a highly suspenseful effect, also made me follow many survivors/victims journey with zest.
More than a simple exhilaration, that I care less about the historical coverage being absolute true and complete.

I knew very little about this historical event. The beginning of the book is slow but the need for the technical background becomes apparent as the story progresses. As others have mentioned, I am not sure why President's Wilson's love life took so much space in this book. Nevertheless this is a compelling read and provides the amateur historian with some shocking details underpinning the developments in WWI.

Aug 15, 2018

It gives you a "game board" style lay out, and then adds the political angle of the time between all the players of WWI. It also introduces you to Room 40. What is room 40? Can't tell you. read it and find out.

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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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