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The tragedy of the Titanic has been captured in fiction, non-fiction, music, poetry, cartoons, official judicial inquiry, survivors' recollections, still photography, television 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 film 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 marvellously clever in his courtroom interrogation by a lawyer determined to manoeuvre 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]