Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

As a kid, I was fascinated with the sinking of the Titanic and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. These were the topics of many of my book reports. I wasn't the only kid who chose the same topics for book reports each year. Boomer's two topics were J.F.K. and the battle of Midway. What were your topics??

Dead Wake chronicles the sinking of the Lusitania, a British ocean liner that was sunk by a German torpedo. I was amazed at how, even after the sinking of the Titanic, emergency procedures were not properly in place. For example, passengers were not instructed on how to use their life jackets (which led to the demise of many) and passengers were not assigned a lifeboat at the beginning of the journey.

This book consumed my July 4th weekend. On Saturday night, I stayed up late reading about the actual sinking and then did not sleep very well. The ship sank in a mere 18 minutes after being hit by the torpedo. 18 minutes! All night, my mind was processing this fact. Hence, I did not sleep well at all.

Dead Wake is non-fiction, but it reads like fiction. Highly recommended, especially if you're not that familiar with the Lusitania and the role it played in the United States entering World War I.

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