NEW BOOK ALERT The Lusitania Story


May 3, 2002
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This work has been mentioned preemptively elswhere on this board. Published by Pen and Sword Books authored by Mitch Peek of WWW.lusitania.net.

I saw this book at my local Dymocks going for $100(NZ) a bit out of my rang just now so I sat me down and had me a good look.

The photo section is okay and it read well. Of particular interest will be the appendices at the back. These entail extensive passenger/crew listings with survivors names bold typed. also included stat breakdowns of ethnicity of varios classes of passengers.

Sinking well written up although it does repeat the seabed impact red herring [ref my similar titled thread enlaginging on this issue]

He dismisses Ballard's coal on seabed evidence as being manufactured.

Eric if you have seen it would care to give us a review?

kind regards to all

Martin
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Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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I haven't read the new book and don't plan to unless I can get a copy for a deeply discounted price. The reason being is that I read their biography of Captain Turner and didn't think too much of it. Actually, I only read part of the Turner bio. I got halfway through and thought "why bother with the rest?" I put it back up on the shelf and haven't touched it for nearly two years. That's not to say that it didn't have some redeeming qualities, but I didn't feel there were enough to bother reading the rest and had better things to do with my time.

The problem as I see it is that the authors tend to rely too heavily on Simpson on most points. If you've read some of the Lusitania book threads here on ET, you know my feelings about Simpson and his lack of credibility -- not to mention accuracy! Unless the authors have drastically changed their opinions, I'm sure this book is no different. Would I buy it? No. Would I read it if someone gave me a copy? Perhaps. But probably only half way....

Eric Sauder
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Oka-a-a-a-a-a-y.

I'm sitting on the fence on this one. As little as there is out there on the Lusitania, I'm inclined to take the gamble, but I'd can anyone tell me whether or not it contains anything useful, or is it just more of the same old thing? Book money is kind of tight this year and I don't want to blow it on something I can't trust.
 
May 12, 2005
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Michael,

I wouldn't say there is "little" out there on Lusitania, just little that is reliable, apparently. Eric Sauder and others have made the point repeatedy that the best study to date is still "The Lusitania Disaster" by Thomas Bailey and Paul Ryan, published by The Free Press, New York, 1975. If you haven't bought this book already, you're better off investing in it. I just received my copy, which I bought for $5 through Bookfinder.com. For photography the best investment is obviously "Exploring the Lusitania," ostensibly by Robert Ballard and released by Madison Press, Toronto, 1995. As has been noted more than once, this book's text regarding the disaster contains novella-like flourishes unsuited to such a serious historical subject.

The Ballard book's section dealing with the expedition is quite good but for a more in-depth, personal and therefore (in my opinion) more interesting account, I'd suggest reading Eric's extensive article on the subject for the THS journal, the Titanic Commutator ("Probing the Mysteries of the Lusitania," Vol. 18, # 4, Feb.-Apr. 1995, pp 4-24).

"RMS Lusitania: Triumph of the Edwardian Age" by Eric Sauder and Ken Marschall is naturally a must-buy. It's taken me forever but I finally bought a copy. These do not come cheap - be prepared to spend as much as $75. I got mine for $60. It hasn't arrived yet but I'm looking forward to it.

Randy
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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More of the same old thing. As Eric said, it borrows heavily from Colin Simpson. I don't have my copy on hand, but as I recall there were errors on the passenger lists, and altogether it seemed like one of those pieces of research in which the author BEGINS with his conclusion and then works backward seeking out evidence to reenforce it, instead of gathering a broad spectrum of evidence and then drawing the conclusion after carefully analysing and interpreting his data- which seems to be the fatal flaw in most Lusitania books. For the cover price one would be better served in purchasing photocopies of the original archival evidence, in whichever aspect of the Lusitania affair most interests you (and the amount out there is volumous) and drawing your own conclusions.
 

Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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Randy, thanks for the plug about my Lusitania article in the Commutator. I'm hoping to have an updated version (additional text, new photos, etc.) on Parks's web site before I leave at the end of March for the BTS convention. Stay tuned.

$60 for a copy of my Lusitania book? It's definitely *not* worth it....

Jim, thanks for your thoughts on the Mitch Peeke book. I trust it helped get Michael off the fence.

Eric
 
May 8, 2001
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I too, have little in the way of books on Lusitania. Maybe if we are REALLY persuasive, we can get Eric to do another book on her. Show them how it is done! I'd be willing to turn over any information I have... (whisper... which is none, but Eric knows that!)
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Randy, Re: Triumph of an Edwardian age! I agree that the book is a gem! For the first time, I really was impressed with the photos and description of the ship. You know, she was really beautifully decorated!
$60.00? Hmmm. Mine is an extra, extra special copy, and I would not part ways for ~any~ price!
 
May 12, 2005
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Colleen wrote: "Mine is an extra, extra special copy, and I would not part ways for ~any~ price!"

Having spent 60 bucks on it, mine is pretty special, too!
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May 3, 2002
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Right on Colleen!
Eric has intimated in anothr thread that a volume like Lynch and Marschall's Illustrated Titanic is still needed.
I say dfinitely with all the current paintings of Ken's and some new ones to boot. I'd buy it even off shore if I had too.

On a different tack what is really needed is a good historiography. This is the discipline of taking all the available literature on a subject (inquiry depositions, transcripts and reports right up to the most recent book or magazine article).
And assessing and then playing one against another considering similarities and contradictions. At the end of this process a historian then tries to determine what took place.

This is what I was taught when I studied undergrad history up at Victoria University. I could write such a critique but I think Eric would be far better qualified in this.

Martin
 
May 12, 2005
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Martin,

It's only my opinion (so please don't take it as anything else) but I think that since so many studies of Lusitania have been either pedestrian or hagiographical, not to mention inaccurate, a full historiography could well end up being a bash-session. There is really no other way, for instance, that Simpson's book could be treated; it would be a waste of time discecting hokum.

A full-scale, definitive history of Lusitania's career and demise has yet to be written but it IS coming. There are several big talents at work on the subject, tireless researchers who care about the facts, people like yourself who are doing fine work. Great minds work in unison. Of course, that Eric will actually author the ultimate Lusy tome would surprise nobody!

Randy
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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The ultimate Lusy tome, eh? The mind salivates (as much as a mind can) at the prospect! Eric combines those two prime qualities - a scrupulous attention to fact, detail and veracity and a humane and perceptive angle on the individuals involved. Not only having these qualities, but having them in such exquisite balance, makes him the ideal man for the job.

Jemma and I have whiled away many a post-FRC session sitting on the floor in Charring Cross bookshops going through the maritime section, and any Lusitania book pulled off the shelf that doesn't have Eric in the acknowledgements gets a snort and quick replacement on the shelf.
 

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