The Other Side of the Night

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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While glancing at amazon.com, I see that Daniel Butler has a book coming out. It is called, "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE NIGHT: The Carpathia, the California and the Night the Titanic was Lost".

Much has been said about his Titanic and Lusitania books, and his research AND writing abilities. So one can imagine what this book will be like.
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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Well now Samuel, having done much original research and writing of my own, I can certainly judge his previous work.

If you think otherwise about his skills, by all means you should discuss it. People, including myself, have listed various problems with his Titanic and Lusitania books. Not just broad criticism.

Will he surprise me and have new research, accounts, etc...? I doubt it, however, if I am wrong, I will certainly say so.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Agreed Michael P., Daniel Butler's TITANIC book was littered with errors, particullary the salvage aspect. My Mother had my copy of the book signed in So. CA., and presented him with a question I had regarding an excerpt from his book, regarding the crow's nest damage of which he reported was acted out by the French deep-sea submersible NAUTILE. I own the 1987 "live" broadcast "Return to the Titanic" (Paris, France) on VHS. This was the source of his telling. I confronted Butler with my letter. I do have his written response of which he stated the broadcast was edited. Upon yrs. of research by myself, me and others know that his reply to me is bearing no truth whatsoever.

In fact, I am responsible for his departure of TITANIC@LISTBOX.COM, many yrs. back.

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Jan 29, 2001
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POSTSCRIPT: For the record, I just accessed the Butler letter, his reply in part was the *video* in question was an RMSTI 1992 clip. Over the yrs. I held private correspondence with Matt Tulloch (The late George's son), Matt informed me *no* such video exist! In due of my *pro-salvage* support, Matt was so kind to send me the TITANIC wreck mosaic, signed by his father, as well as a 16 x 20 photograph of G. Tulloch, P.H. Nargeolet, and Pierre Valldy, taken upon the successful venture to raise the "Big Piece". Signed by George and P.H.
Forgive me for having repeated this, there are many a members name I do not recognize.

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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The Lancastria site had this to say about Butler.


They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so the webmaster felt very flattered when he read Daniel Butler’s account of the Lancastria sinking in this book which covers the history of Cunard. The book is endorsed by the company and covers the 160-year history of the shipping line which operated Lancastria. The webmaster bought a copy at £22 and quickly went to the section covering Lancastria only to discover that it was taken, virtually word for word, phrase for phrase from this website…! There is however one, never before published photograph of Lancastria taken in her cruising all white colours, only one of two known to have been published. The rest of the book is interesting, but if you are researching only the Lancastria, then save yourself £22 and read the original pages on this website.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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I have Butler's books published so far about the Titanic (Unsinkable) and the Lusitania. While they are OK, there is nothing new and the lack of illustrations makes the reading a bit tepid in my opinion. His books seem like rephrased versions of information gathered from others' work but little independent research. While ordinary readers like us are allowed to do just that, I believe that a professional writer aiming to publish his or her work should make a greater effort.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Although from what I've been hearing so far it doesn't sound like theres anything new in this book, I'll probably end up buying it anyway as the Californian is one of my favorite topics and I do enjoy Butler's writing style.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Dec 31, 2005
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I haven't read this book, but given that I haven't been at all impressed with the author's previous works, and that the author actually resorts to saying the reason that Captain Lord did not respond to the Titanic's distress signals was because he was a "sociopath", I think I'll be skipping this one and spending my hard-earned dollars on something more worthwhile. I somehow have the feeling that he adds nothing new to this topic, and obviously is writing it with an agenda and pushing Captain Lord as a villain. (and this is coming from someone who feels the evidence strongly supports the Californian and Titanic were within sight of each other during the sinking)

Kind regards,
Tad
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Captain Lord was a sociopath, eh? Well there you go. QED.

The Californian is a topic of great interest to me so I'll be reading this book at some point, but I'm very much hoping it's by inter-library loan. There's already a lot of other books with a higher claim on my wallet.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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As I said back in April, I received a reviewer's copy of this book. I started to read it, and somehow forced myself to get as far as p. 113. It is so riddled with blatant errors too numerous to itemize, and totally devoid of any true objectivity, that I could not get myself to read much further. But I must admit, before deciding to give up on this completely, I did go to the very last chapter to see his conclusions. As predicted, he has Lord as a sociopathic villain who could do no right, and Rostron an exemplary hero who could do no wrong.
 
May 27, 2007
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I have enough loonyness in my life so I don't need to read about no Sociopath Capt. with a suppposed hidden agenda in letting 15oo souls drown in the North Alantic! Although I'm also intrested in the Californian, but not enough to get my facts scrambled!

Although since Butler has an easy to read style I could read the book as fiction! Sounds like a great novel! Titanic and the Californian within sight of each other and Lord perhaps drugging Cyril Evans so he's sleep on through the night! But I'm still recovering from Preston's Lusitania books so I'll pass!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>As predicted, he has Lord as a sociopathic villain who could do no right, and Rostron an exemplary hero who could do no wrong.<<

Too bad real life is nowhere near as straightforward as that.

I really don't have any issues with Captain Rostron. While I'm mindful of the extreme likelihood that his license would be pulled if he reacted as he did today, this was 1912, and that was a day and age when people weren't so risk averse as they are today. In short, Captain Rostron was a man of his times who lived and dealt with a crisis situation in that context.

While I am critical of Captain Lord, I just don't see him as the "Eeeeeeeeeevile Fu-Man-Lord" that a some of his modern day critics do. More then anything else, I see what happened on that ship as more in line with indecisiveness and a spectacular failure of communication.

Stupid and/or timid perhaps, but not calculated melevolance.
 
May 1, 2004
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I don't see how taking risks to save lives would tell against Captain Rostron. He seems to have had a fine brain, a fine crew and a knowledge of what his ship, brain and crew could do if pushed.

As for Captain Lord, surely we've come far from calling him an evil man. He had had a long, hard day behind him and an ice field in front and he didn't want to get out of bed for a ship that 'steamed away' after firing what may have been 'company signals'. He probably assumed that his watch officer would do all that was required to find out, including rousing the wireless man. How did Stone or whoever get to be an officer if he didn't know how to think through what he sees?

As Michael said, "I see what happened on that ship as more in line with indecisiveness and a spectacular failure of communication. Stupid and/or timid perhaps, but not calculated malevolence."
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I agree with you Michael. The problem with this book is that it became very clear to me that little independent research went into it. It is very easy for an author to regurgitate more or less what others have written in their own words, or worse, to fill in gaps from their own vivid imagination. If anyone is looking to find what really happened that night, you certainly will not find it in the pages of this book.
 

Steven Hall

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Dec 17, 2008
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It's amazing what sells.
But some good news. Titanic The Ship Magnificent is going into its 3rd printing.