The book Lusitania Saga and Myth by David Ramsay


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Jan 7, 2002
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Apparently there is another new Lusitania book on the bookshelves.

A few weeks ago I found Diana Preston's Lusitania book- Today I spotted another Lucy book- "Lusitania - Saga and Myth " by David Ramsay. For those who might have read this book- how is it? How many funnels standing (or crashing overboard) would you rate it?

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Tarn,

I'd give it one funnel, with the boilers not even lit! Just a re-hash of everything else under the sun that has ever been written about the ship.

Geoff
 
Z

Zack Schwarz

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I liked the information it provided on the Stephens, except the information that her body was lost on the Arabic, when it was really lost on the Hesperian. I also liked the information about Dwight Harris's lifebelt. Unfortunaely, it also said that Mrs. Harris survived when she wasn't even aboard.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Though this old ill bother to comment on the book anyway. good book. im gonna have to disagree w/ geoff about the book being a rehash of everything else as independent research went into the book. this book also makes a good alternative to bailey and ryan.
 
May 8, 2001
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But not a good alternative to the highly acclaimed Whitfield and Sauder volumes!
wink.gif
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Colleen

while i greatly respect Sauder, i think he is a little too conservative, and whitfield seems to have helped 3 who relied almost entirely on simpson for theyre book "The Lusitania Story". the 3 best books in my opinion being:

1. Patrick O'Sullivan
2. David Ramsay
3. Bailey & Ryan

though Eric's book is still good when it comes to the ships physical features, though other books are equally just as good there, namely Mark D. Warren and Ocean Liners of the Past. though as Eric did a great job w/ his article on Marconigraph.com and is one of the very few people who have tackled the question of the funnels and whether or not they were painted black.

Out of curiosity, have you ever read David Ramdsays book?
 
May 8, 2001
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Conservative... I would agree with that compliment.
In regard to my knowledge of Lusy. While my library of White Star books are plentiful, and still growing, my involvement with Cunard line, or namely Lusitania is limited, as it involves multiple events that I have not fully researched. I am a "people" person, (vs a rivet counter) and this was a tragic event, with a loss of over 1,000 innocent lives. It is a painful ship to research, for that fact alone. Though understandable why they had to act quickly, the seemingly impersonal mass graves, and the catalogs of recovered unknown dead victims or more so, children and babies, invokes great anger and grief upon me. Sauder's book (if we are speaking of the same one) was the first I found that left war, death, and sadness out of the picture, and for the first time, focused on the real beauty of Her alone. If that was his objective, I would say he succeeded. Although an undeniable part of history involved here, I appreciated the shock and hype left out of the equation for a change.
As far as Whitfield being historical adviser for several books, there is good reason his facts are sought after. With that I will state, I did not bother to purchase the book Geoff mentioned was not acclaimed, but I tell you what... I will see if I can find the Mark Warren book you stated was aesthetically pleasing, and will let you know how comparable it is, when I do.
 

Inger Sheil

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Eric bases his research on solid methodology and sources, but is not afraid to branch out and make intuitive leaps and search out and explore new angles. He is innovative, but works from a bedrock basis of knowledge and material. I've had the tremendous pleasure of seeing him at work in the field, and have even had the opportunity to look up a few odds and ends for him that he was chasing overseas. I know of few greater pleasures than to sit and listen to him expound upon this subject (unless it was to tour the Queen Mary with him as a guide as I did a little while back). His published work is tightly focused and impeccable.

I would take Geoff Whitfield's opinion of a work on this subject any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Geoff's another one of that happy band of brothers who are out there in the field doing work, and who has both the knowledge and the insight to comment succinctly and incisively. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, naturally - but I find Geoff's to be among the most informed and worth listening to. I can't speak for Geoff, but I know that I've been in the position where I've been cited as a source in a published work but have not agreed with everything in the book and/or article.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>while i greatly respect Sauder, i think he is a little too conservative, <<

If I may ask, why is this an arguement? The validity of the research is does not rest on whether the historian is liberal or conservative in his/her take on the facts but on the evidence which supports the work. I have a copy of Eric Sauder's work, and it's pretty solid IMO.

>>...and whitfield seems to have helped 3 who relied almost entirely on simpson for theyre book "The Lusitania Story".<<

Which is not nesseccerily an endorsement of the end result. At best, it means the man was consulted for data, but he can't control how it's used or misused.
 
May 3, 2002
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I have said this before elsewhere in Lusitania
but would like to repeat my support for the Sauder/Marschall volume.
Eric and Ken focussed upon the life of the ship instead of its demise and in the process gave me much I didn't know.

new material comes to light frequently to reveal something of the Lusitania and I wish those of "our happy band" good luck in their work.

cheers

Martin
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Micheal

By too cnservative, i simply meant that i think Eric sometimes relies too much on Bailey & Ryan, and I'm still of the opinion that the Ramsay book is good alternative to it.

as for Geof, when he is willing to show me all the mistakes on the passanger list in "The Lusitania Story" as requested" ill be glad to stop holding a grudge against him.
 

Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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Jesse:

I’m out of town at the moment and wasn’t going to post to this thread until my return, but your last post was simply outrageous.

As for me being too conservative (and in a political sense I am, and extremely proud of that fact), I read everything I can about Lusitania (and have been doing so for the past 30 years); then do my own independent research throughout the US, the UK, Australia, Ireland, and other countries; and come to my own conclusions. I am not a Bailey and Ryan disciple. They get things wrong as well. If I happen to rely “too much” on Bailey and Ryan (according to you), that’s because I have come to the conclusion — after my own decades of research — that I believe they are right in most of what they say. They are wrong in some cases, but that is mostly because they didn’t have some of the information available to us today. If you don’t believe they’re right in what they say, that’s fine. There are other books out there, each with something to contribute, but I happen to believe Bailey and Ryan is by far the best.

Now where your post becomes intolerable to me is your holding a grudge against Geoff Whitfield. If Geoff chooses not share his research with you, that’s his right. For you to simply “request’ that he tell you what he knows, is laughable. It’s information that he has found and spent an immense amount of time and a great deal of money to locate. Why should he simply hand it over to you?

Geoff is easily one of the most generous, helpful people in this hobby. For you to hold a grudge against him for not giving you what you want is simply childish. Without him, my passenger and crew research would not be where it is today. I am forever grateful that he shares what he knows with me, but perhaps the reason he shares with me is because I have been able to build a trust with him over the past decade. I don’t simply go onto the internet and send e-mails to people saying “tell me everything you know” or “I need an answer to this question” like some people do. He and I give and take. We both have decades of good, productive research behind us. He is a true friend of mine, and I don’t count many people in that category.

Perhaps you should do the nearly half century of combined research that Geoff and I have and then come back and ask us questions and not simply demand that he or I give you what you ask for.

If you want to, as your profile says, “write a book that Rivals even Bailey & Ryan's ‘The Lusitania Diaster,’ then you need to grow up, do your own research, and stop expecting people to tell you everything they know. You can’t always ride the coattails of those who have come before you.

Eric Sauder
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Eric

I am doing my own research. i do not consider getting expert's opinion to be childish, but simplying confirming it or discarding it as accurate. i can't say im riding coat tails, im doing my own research, mainly into black funnels and aluminum powder. if geoff didn't want to help me find the mistakes in "The Lusitania Story" Passanger list than he could have atleast told me so, for not responding at all is worst that giving someone the answer they dont want. and im still of the opinion that Ramsay is very good alternative to Bailey & Ryan, and possibly even better.
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Perhaps you should do the nearly half century of combined research that Geoff and I have and then come back and ask us questions and not simply demand that he or I give you what you ask for.

Hear hear, Eric.

There is an unfortunate tendency, particularly among those new to the field, to take for granted the work of others and to expect spoonfeeding. I have found Geoff Whitfield to be unfailingly polite, helpful and extremely generous with his prodigious knowledge and sources - when he is approached with courtesy and respect, that is. He has never been otherwise than that with me, certainly. The same is true of you - always modest in talking about your own achievements, in spite of the fact that your own expertise in this field is second to none. I can't say I have too much respect for anyone who professes to 'bear a grudge' against someone like Geoff Whitfield, and for the reasons stated. Petulance like that has no place in a forum like this, particularly not when the individual bearing the grudge has aspirations to be recognised as a researcher themselves.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>if geoff didn't want to help me find the mistakes in "The Lusitania Story" Passanger list than he could have atleast told me so, for not responding at all is worst that giving someone the answer they dont want.<<

Errrrrr....Jesse...what is the assumption being made here? That somebody is in some fashion answerable to you in matters of sharing information? Be assured, nobody is, and slams such as what you posted above aren't very helpful for you either. Remember the old saying that one catches more flies with honey then vinegar??? Why then are you using vinegar?

I've known Geoff On-line for nearly four years now, and had the pleasure of meeting the man in person at one of the dinners that Phil Gowan hosted. The man is generous to a fault and is as kind hearted as they come.

>>and im still of the opinion that Ramsay is very good alternative to Bailey & Ryan, and possibly even better.<<

Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but you might want to take some time to actually get to know something about the people you're dealing with befor you pan them. The Sauder Brothers are among the top liner historians in the business and are among those on the list of people to interview for documentaries for just that reason, and Geoff Whitfield's research of that passenger list, and his tireless work with the BTS to make the Atlantic Daily Bullitin the highly respected publication that it is (Among other things), IMO, speaks for itself.

I can't stop you from holding a grudge, but don't expect a lot of sympathy from the members on this list as you're not about to get it when you in essence "Cop a attitude" like this.

>>I am doing my own research. i do not consider getting expert's opinion to be childish, but simplying confirming it or discarding it as accurate. i can't say im riding coat tails, im doing my own research, mainly into black funnels and aluminum powder.<<

Okay...how much time are you spending in libraries, newspaper morgues and some dusty archives in the Public Records repositories on both...or even one...side of the ocean? How many passneger lists and port records have you gone through to sort out fact from fiction? How many survivors and reletives of survivors have you interviewed and how many photos have you been able to obtain from some really obscure sources?

If that strikes you as being a lot of hard work, then all I can say is "Damned right it is!" Eric and Geoff have done that. I wish you the best in your own research, but you'll do well not to burn your bridges with an in-your-face sort of approach such as what you've used above. The people you honk off now may well be the friends you need later on. If you don't believe me, check out the acknowladgements section of any really well researched book on any historical subject. The list of names and offices is a long one.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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I hope Jesse takes the advice he's given and doesn't go off thinking we here are just being bullies because that isn't the intention of any of the remarks that have been made above. I am sure that we all can remember what it was like to be in our early 20s, an age at which we believed we had a grasp on all there was to learn (I know I thought I did!).

Networking in this community can be a very gratifying and rewarding thing, Jesse - not just for the fruits of research that can be gleaned but for the friendships that can be had. The way to win trust is to give it.

Perhaps, to show good faith, you can share a little nugget of information with a fellow researcher. It will show him - or her - that you are sincere and serious in your work and "standing on your own," as it were. That researcher, if he or she is "above board," will remember you and will likely reciprocate.

I believe in helping others in their work and have done so throughout the years of my involvement in this genre of study. In return, I have been aided by a great many people - among them Geoff Whitfield, to whom I am indebted not just for his help but his friendship.

So, remember you can really make invaluable allies of those in this community. But beware - the way is slippery for, since it is a small community, you can also make unshakable enemies.

My advice is to start now to smooth the seas so that your path will not be impeded.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Michael & Randy

I apologise for what i said about Geoff. I Admit it was wrong. Unfortunately though, time machines have not yet been invented, so i can't change the past.

As for riding Coat Tails. well in my opinion all historians ride coat tails to some degree. to what degree is something only that person can control.

As for advice, yes I'll keep it in mind and try to follw it.

And for proving independent research. well that might take a year or two, maybe more or less, depends on how it takes me to finish my paper on the subject of black funnels, if you look in the thread started by me on the subject, you'll see who inspired me to do the research and also who suggested it.
 
May 8, 2001
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>>>I apologise for what i said about Geoff.<<< Only 1/2 an apology???
You said some insulting comments to Eric, that many of us don't take lightly. In this close knit community, I am of the opinion that an apology is equally due to him, but it's your choice.
Either way, those that have done many serious years of research, a little research, dabbled into the events to seek greater understanding, descendants of those on board, and even those that have only lurked on this message board and do not wish to get into a debate here, will still be around if/when you make your debut on your findings.
Good luck on your endevore(s).
 
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colleen

while i support that the idea that all historians are coat tail riders, i still find it offensive to call someone that, i therefore think me and eric are even in my opinion.
 
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