TITANIC DESTINATION DISASTER The Legends and the Reality

Logan Geen

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Dec 2, 2001
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One other thing (neither good nor bad) that I've picked up on from E & H is that they have given different "suggestions" as to how Captain Smith died over the years. In Destination Disaster little mention is made regarding his death save a brief mention/suggestion that he died when crushed by the falling funnel. In T & T they describe him essentially the way James Cameron did: Alone in the wheelhouse, lost in his thoughts, until the bridge was inundated. And in their interview included in the A&E documentary Titanic: Death of a Dream, Eaton states that "Captain Smith probably survived the actual sinking of the ship" and refers to sightings of the captain at a lifeboat (he does debunk the infant story). I wonder if their own views have evolved over the years (I'm not sure when the interview was conducted in relation to their books).

Fiona...I agree that T & T is the superior book. I think that it is organized better and I must admit...the picture collection is the finest of it's kind available.

Mike...I hope you didn't read, at least in my case, that I thought E & H are lousy writers. Personally, I felt that they captured the human side of the Titanic disaster very well and their knowledge and passion of the subject is very apparent in interviews I've seen with them before. While I don't care for or agree with all of their conclusions, their books are still a valuable part of my collection, and you're right, a balanced view is important.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Thanks for the info, Michael - I shoulda guessed you 'd know!

As far as claiming T&T is light on text - that wasn't my intention. Just that the strong suit of this book is the ton of previously unpublished photos. Especially when they get into the chapter about the sinking itself, the text and the photos and maps work real well together, IMO.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>Misplaced really depends on which side of the fence you sit on this contentious issue, doesn't it?<<

Agreed. The Californian is one of those subjects that never fails to get people steamed if only because it makes them wonder about the might have beens. In all candor, both sides have their failings and both sides have some damned good points. I can't say as I've ever seen anything on this thorny issue that couldn't be called "biased."

In fairness though, there is the matter of those distress signals the Titanic sent up. They fired them, and the Californian saw them. Make of that what you will, but it's one of the few points that neither side disputes.

For my own money, I'm more middle-of-the-road on this nowadays. I'm just not interested in the blame game which others play quite well without my help. My interest lies not so much in the what as the why.