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Titanic:
An Illustrated History

by Donald Lynch

ISBN 078686401X / 9780786864010 / 0-7868-6401-X
Publisher Hyperion
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

The tragedy of the Titanic has been captured in fiction, nonfiction, music, poetry, cartoons, official judicial inquiry, survivors' recollections, still photography, TV shows, and film; all of the above are covered to some extent in this good and popular book. But few Titanic books match the paintings by Ken Marschall, a specialist on the subject whose work can be found in other books by the ship's discoverer, Robert Ballard, who wrote the introduction here. The photos are notable--including shots of the red-paint-stained iceberg that may have caused the sinking, the pristine ship, the sunken wreck, the people involved in the case--but Marschall's dozens of large-scale paintings really do help to dramatize and explicate moments no camera glimpsed and few eyewitnesses agree upon.

There is much to recommend the text, too. You could make a movie just about Second Officer Charles Lightoller, who helped accelerate the lifeboat-launching process, saving lives; stepped off the ship's bridge into the Atlantic; was sucked down into a ventilator taking in water, vainly swimming against its suction; and then got expelled by a blast of air, like a human cannonball in a circus, and landed next to a lifeboat that had been knocked 20 feet clear of the sinking ship's deadly whirlpool by a huge ship's funnel that crashed into the waves nearby. Lightoller was marvelously clever in his courtroom interrogation by an attorney determined to maneuver him into admitting blame for the disaster.

There is much more history in between the dramatic illustrations, facts both grand and trivial--if you're bent on knowing what actually happened to the dogs aboard, the answer is in this book. Definitely one of the better titles dealing with Titanic. --Tim Appelo [via]