Dead Wake

Dead Wake

The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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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.

Random House Digital
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the disaster  On May 1, 1915, 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 anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" 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. He knew, moreover, that his ship--the fastest then in service--could outrun any threat. 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, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President 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 that helped place America on the road to war.

Findaway World Llc

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.



Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, [2014]
ISBN: 9780553551655
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
audio file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor
Alternative Title: Last crossing of the Lusitania

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s
swyckl
Jul 17, 2019

I liked this Documentary CD. It was comprehensive and informative. Upon departing New York City on May 1, 1915, the Lusitania was a testament to man’s ingenuity, power, and hubris. The pride of the Cunard Line, she was a monster of the oceans: fast, sleek, and luxurious. In 1915, World War I was raging in Europe and Germany had publicly warned that all merchant traffic to Europe would now be considered war material and subject to being taken as a prize or sunk. German diplomats even took out an ad in the New York Times warning Lusitania’s passengers and crew. Yet few passengers heeded the Kaiser’s caveat. Most believed that no nation would deliberately sink an ocean liner filled with innocent women and children, that the Lusitania was far too fast to be a viable submarine target and (falsely) that England would use her Navy to protect the ship. Passengers believed that the Lusitania was so huge and with all boilers lit, so fast as to make her unsinkable. Yet unknown to almost everyone, Captain Turner of the Lusitania was ordered by Cunard executives to light only three of her four boilers to save money. This decreased speed made her an easier submarine target. Following the Titanic disaster only three years earlier, maritime law required passenger liners to use as many lifeboats as necessary, giving passengers a false sense of security. Almost no one considered the possibility that a ship of that size could sink in minutes after being hit by only one torpedo or that her swift starboard list would make it nearly impossible to launch most of the lifeboats. Almost everyone believed that England would use her battleships and destroyers to protect large passenger ships in the “war zone.” In reality, the Royal Navy feared losing critical warships to German submarines more than they felt it necessary to protect commercial passenger ships that carried no troops. The leader of the Royal Navy, Winston Churchill, therefore decided to leave the Lusitania unprotected. Documents show that he secretly desired a German attack so that the event would prompt America to enter the war. Dead Wake is a masterfully researched, engrossing, and evocative book from all perspectives. Larson provides numerous layers of hidden information, including intimate details of President Wilson’s private life that influenced his decision-making. We learn about intelligence secrets of the English Admiralty, leading to the interception and decoding of communication between the German submarine U-20 and her base; yet that information was retained from those whose intervention might have prevented the catastrophe. We witness the fateful decision of Lusitania’s captain to delay entry into the “war zone” and to zig-zag directly into the path of the U-20. And we learn a great deal about the cunning and ruthless German submarine captain. Finally, we learn that the Royal Navy blamed Captain Turner of the Lusitania, even though they knew that he had been innocent and that the information they had deliberately withheld from him and Cunard could have been used to save his ship.

a
AureliaReads
Jul 07, 2019

Enjoyed this book immensely. Learned a great deal. The author builds suspense very skillfully. I ended up feeling like the priceless Dickens manuscript was a character, as though it were a passenger! I agree with the reviewer who said that all the sections on US President Wilson's love life were annoying and off-topic. Historians will delve more deeply into the political calculations and management of the war. But for a non-specialist, this book painted a vivid, complex and moving picture.
I liked the narrator - just the right pace and right level of carefully controlled emotion.

r
RescueDog
Aug 30, 2017

Fascinating story. I like the way the same story is told many times from different points of view. Way more detail than I wanted in several cases. I don't care what everybody had for lunch. Not my favorite reader, but I liked him better for this book than I usually do.

i
IV27HUjg
Mar 03, 2017

Wonderful read, I skipped the audio due to my dislike of the narrator.

r
rhubarb42
Aug 14, 2016

Bibliokrisp's summary is "spot on." As usual Larson does a masterful job of weaving multiple stories until they finally come together. And I found the narrator well suited to the story.

d
Daj_O
Jun 12, 2016

The book is fantastic and difficult to put down. The narration is a bit spotty--the French accents weren't consistent and the Americans always sounded like they were from Texas and were ignorant. Shame on the narrator's prejudices--I expect more subtle/expert narration with Erik Larsen's books. Listen to "In the Garden of the Beasts" for another great book and much better narration.

b
bibliokrisp
Apr 28, 2016

This book is primarily about the sinking of the Lusitania but the author brings in information about shipping in 1915, the captain of the Lusitania, the code-breaking of Room 40 (British Naval Intelligence), President Wilson's personal life, details about U-Boats, and more. This is the 1st WW1 book I've read that gave me a clear picture of this time and how the US got into the war. Larson also does a superior job telling the stories of many Lusitania passengers, making them memorable and taking the reader into that person's experience as the Lusitania sank (only 18 minutes from the time the German torpedo struck). If you enjoy history, this is worth your time.

o
Olivia__h
Nov 17, 2015

If you enjoy history and life recounted during that time, you will love the details; they add to the charm. We enjoyed the narration. Sad when the CD's were completed. Top marks.

t
thepudman
Sep 19, 2015

I listened to the audio book, and I didn't like the narrator, so that colours my review, but OMG!! - the minutia! Detailing the colour and pattern of someone's socks, the contents on a suitcase, the number of plants in the dinning room, and how many cigars a person brought on board! Would have been far more interesting - an shorter - if the author would have cut out the extraneous details. 11 CDs, but the ship isn't even torpedoed until disc 9.

t
troyinpdx
Sep 13, 2015

Superb.

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