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Books > History > History of specific subjects > Maritime history

Into A Raging Sea - Great South African Rescues (Paperback): Tony Weaver, Andrew Ingram Into A Raging Sea - Great South African Rescues (Paperback)
Tony Weaver, Andrew Ingram 2
R250 R200 Discovery Miles 2 000 Save R50 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NSRI, here is a collection of daring rescues filled with drama and danger. From burning ships to shark attacks, sinking trawlers to hallucinating fishermen, these are the stories of man’s constant battle with some of the most dangerous waters on earth. But there is one story in particular that gave rise to the creation of the NSRI...

On 12 April 1966, four fishing boats put out to sea from Stilbaai on South Africa’s southern coast. Soon they were all pulling in fish as fast as they could bait their hooks, and the boats were settling lower in the water. Shortly before sunset, skipper Gerhard Dreyer saw clouds building on the horizon. But the fishing was too good and they ignored the signs. Later that night a gale force wind slammed into them. ‘I told the men to throw everything overboard,’ Gerhard remembers. An hour before midnight, Gerhard headed for deeper water to try and ride out the swells. As dawn broke, they saw for the first time the true extent of the night’s damage: among the flotsam, one man in a lifebuoy. That man was the only crewman from the other three boats to survive the terrible storm. Seventeen men died that night.

Simonstown schoolteacher Patti Price was horrified when she read the news. She began a media campaign and appealed to the president of the Society of Master Mariners. As a direct result of her efforts, the South African Inshore Rescue Service was founded in August 1966 (renamed the National Sea Rescue Institute in 1967). Today, the NSRI has 35 rescue bases and over 1 000 volunteers.

Against All Odds - The Epic Story Of The Oceanos Rescue (Paperback): Andrew Pike Against All Odds - The Epic Story Of The Oceanos Rescue (Paperback)
Andrew Pike 1
R260 R208 Discovery Miles 2 080 Save R52 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

It was a dark and stormy night in 1991 when a magician took over the bridge of the Oceanos, an ageing passenger liner travelling up the Wild Coast.

The captain was nowhere to be found. The ship started taking in water in the auxiliary engine room just a few hours after it had set sail from East London. Panicking, the crew scrambled into the lifeboats, leaving passengers largely to fend for themselves. The ship’s entertainment staff bravely started to calm passengers and coordinated the abandon-ship operation and rescue effort.

The story of this dramatic rescue, which made headlines across the world, is told from the perspective of all the key role players and describes their extraordinary heroism.

Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell (Paperback): Kevin Jackson Mayflower: The Voyage from Hell (Paperback)
Kevin Jackson
R226 R161 Discovery Miles 1 610 Save R65 (29%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
The Queen's Pirate: Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind (Paperback): Kevin Jackson The Queen's Pirate: Sir Francis Drake and the Golden Hind (Paperback)
Kevin Jackson
R226 R185 Discovery Miles 1 850 Save R41 (18%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
A General History of the Lives, Murders and Adventures of the Most Notorious Pirates (Hardcover): Captain Charles Johnson A General History of the Lives, Murders and Adventures of the Most Notorious Pirates (Hardcover)
Captain Charles Johnson; Edited by Sam Willis
R575 R464 Discovery Miles 4 640 Save R111 (19%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

First published in 1724 following a marked increase in pirate attacks on the Spanish Main and the resultant Wapping executions, Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of Pirates is the most famous, and most influential, book about pirates ever written. Famed for its vigorous prose and uncanny understanding of the pirates' way of life, Johnson's volumes became the forerunners of the real-life criminal biography genre and inspired the likes of Defoe's Moll Flanders and Fielding's Jonathan Wild. Without them there would have been no Peter Pan, Treasure Island or Captain Jack Sparrow. This new edition presents twenty action-packed biographies detailing the blood-thirsty escapades of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, William Avery and Bartholomew Roberts. The celebrated female pirates Mary Reed and Anne Bonny also owe their subsequent notoriety to Johnson's book. Originally published in folio size complete with fine copper engravings, this new edition not only includes the very best of the original decorative features but also presents a series of related illustrations, adverts, playbills and portraits from the British Library.

Iron Fist From The Sea - Top Secret Seaborne Recce Operations (1978-1988) (Paperback): Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn Iron Fist From The Sea - Top Secret Seaborne Recce Operations (1978-1988) (Paperback)
Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn
R295 R236 Discovery Miles 2 360 Save R59 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

From Cabinda in Angola to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, 4 Reconnaissance Regiment conducted numerous clandestine seaborne raids during the Border War. They attacked strategic targets such as oil facilities, transport infrastructure and even Russian ships. All the while 4 Recce’s existence and capability was largely kept secret, even within the South African Defence Force.

With unparalleled access to previously top secret documents, 50 operations undertaken by 4 Recce, other Special Forces units and the South African Navy are described here in Iron Fist From The Sea. The daunting Operation Kerslig (1981), in which an operator died in a raid on a Luanda oil refinery and others were injured, is retold in spine-tingling detail. The book reveals the versatility and effectiveness of this elite unit and also tells of both the successes and failures of its actions. Sometimes missions go wrong, as in Operation Argon (1985) when Captain Wynand Du Toit was captured. This fascinating work will enthrall anyone with an interest in Special Forces operations.

Iron Fist From The Sea takes you right to the raging surf, to the adrenalin and fear that is seaborne raiding.

A Short History Of Mozambique (Paperback): Malyn Newitt A Short History Of Mozambique (Paperback)
Malyn Newitt
R250 R200 Discovery Miles 2 000 Save R50 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects.

Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique's remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalised approach of concession companies. Following the nationalist guerrillas' victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre, over attempts at far-reaching socioeconomic change. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain.

This book seeks to distill this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.

Darwin's Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle (Paperback): Kevin Jackson Darwin's Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle (Paperback)
Kevin Jackson
R226 R185 Discovery Miles 1 850 Save R41 (18%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
Ystervuis uit die See - Uiters Geheime Seewaartse Recce-operasies (1978-1988) (Afrikaans, Paperback): Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn Ystervuis uit die See - Uiters Geheime Seewaartse Recce-operasies (1978-1988) (Afrikaans, Paperback)
Arne Soderlund, Douw Steyn
R295 R236 Discovery Miles 2 360 Save R59 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Gedurende die Grensoorlog het die Spesiale Magte se 4 Verkenningsregiment tientalle klandestiene seewaartse operasies saam met die SA Vloot uitgevoer. Van Cabinda in Angola tot Dar es Salaam in Tanzanië het hulle strategiese teikens soos oliedepots, vervoerinfrastruktuur en selfs Russiese skepe aangeval. Die bestaan van 4 Recce is grootliks geheim gehou, ook in die SAW.

Ystervuis uit die see beskryf 50 operasies deur 4 Recce, ander Spesmagte-eenhede en die SA Vloot. Daaronder tel Operasie Kerslig (1981), waartydens ’n operateur dood en ander beseer is in ’n aanval op ’n olieraffinadery in Luanda, en Operasie Argon (1985) toe kaptein Wynand du Toit in Angola gevange geneem is.

Die skrywers, wat self aan etlike van die operasies deelgeneem het, het ook toegang gekry tot uiters geheime dokumente wat intussen gedeklassifiseer is. Hul dramatiese vertellings wys hoe veelsydig en doeltreffend hierdie elite-eenheid was.

Die omvattende boek is ’n moet vir enigeen met ’n belangstelling in die Spesmagte. Dit neem jou na die hart van die aksie, die adrenalien en vrees van seewaartse operasies.

Graveyard of the Atlantic - Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast (Paperback, New edition): David Stick Graveyard of the Atlantic - Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast (Paperback, New edition)
David Stick
R525 R425 Discovery Miles 4 250 Save R100 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

This is a factual account, written in the pace of fiction, of hundreds of dramatic losses, heroic rescues, and violent adventures at the stormy meeting place of northern and southern winds and waters -- the Graveyard of the Atlantic off the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Into the Raging Sea - Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm and the Sinking of El Faro (Paperback): Rachel Slade Into the Raging Sea - Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm and the Sinking of El Faro (Paperback)
Rachel Slade 1
R285 R210 Discovery Miles 2 100 Save R75 (26%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a nail-biting account of the sinking of the container ship El Faro, the crew of thirty-three who perished onboard, and the destructive forces of globalisation that put the ship in harm's way. On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in one of the worst shipping disasters in decades. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish - until now. Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves - whose conversations were captured by the ship's data recorder - journalist Rachel Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro. As she recounts the final twenty-four hours onboard, Slade vividly depicts the officers' anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out Captain Michael Davidson's increasingly bizarre commands, which, they knew, would steer them straight into the eye of the storm. Taking a hard look at America's aging merchant marine fleet, Slade also reveals the truth about modern shipping - a cutthroat industry plagued by razor-thin profits and ever more violent hurricanes fueled by global warming. A richly reported account of a singular tragedy, Into the Raging Sea takes us into the heart of an age-old American industry, casting new light on the hardworking crew of El Faro who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.

Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War (Hardcover): Stephen Biesty Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War (Hardcover)
Stephen Biesty; Richard Platt 1
R235 R188 Discovery Miles 1 880 Save R47 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Look inside an 18th-century warship as it sails into battle on the high seas. Packed with extraordinary illustrations, this history book for children covers everything from warship design to navigation.

Biesty's incredible drawings slice through a man-of-war to explore every corner, from the crow's nest to the stinking hold. Packed with fascinating facts and gory details, the pages teem with sailors busy about their duties. Find out how gun crews fired a cannon, examine a surgeon's toolkit, and learn the best way to wriggle the maggots out of the ship's biscuits. Look out, too, for the stowaway on every page. He's the one with spiky hair and there's a reward for his capture!

This absorbing book will have children - and adults - poring over every page. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War remains as entertaining as ever.

Titanic Calling - Wireless Communications during the Great Disaster (Hardcover): Michael Hughes, Katherine Bosworth Titanic Calling - Wireless Communications during the Great Disaster (Hardcover)
Michael Hughes, Katherine Bosworth
R441 R261 Discovery Miles 2 610 Save R180 (41%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Published in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the "Titanic"'s sinking, this book tells the story of that fateful night from an unusual angle: through the many wireless communications sent to and from the land stations and the ships involved as the tragic events unfolded.Drawing on the extensive record of wireless transmissions in the Marconi Archives, "Titanic Calling" recounts this legendary story the way it was first heard, beginning with repeated warnings--just hours before the collision--of several large icebergs unusually far south and alarmingly close to the "Titanic"'s course. The story follows senior operator Jack Phillips as he sends distress messages to nearby ships and shows how these urgent calls for help were received and rapidly relayed across the Atlantic in a desperate attempt to save the lives of the "Titanic"'s passengers and crew. Finally, the distant SS "Virginian" receives the "Titanic"'s final, broken message. The story concludes with the rescue of the fortunate survivors, who radio messages to loved ones from aboard the RMS "Carpathia "while safely on their way to New York. Illustrated throughout with photographs of the messages and including full transcripts of original material, the book also features an introduction to the development of maritime wireless communications and a discussion of the Marconi Archives's "Titanic "collection. The forced brevity of the messages lends the narrative a startling sense of immediacy and brings to life to the voices of the individuals involved.

Titanic - The World's Largest Liner (Paperback): Roger Cartwright Titanic - The World's Largest Liner (Paperback)
Roger Cartwright
R171 R129 Discovery Miles 1 290 Save R42 (25%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This is the story of RMS Titanic. In this authoritative and highly illustrated guide we explore what was the largest passenger steamship in the world when she set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton on 10 April 1912. Just four days later she struck an iceberg and sank, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history. Here we see how the ship was built, reveal what life was like above and below deck, uncover details of the fatal accident and the aftermath - and consider the world's fascination with the subject ever since.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Through Time (Paperback, UK ed.): Ian Collard The Isle of Man Steam Packet Through Time (Paperback, UK ed.)
Ian Collard
R419 R358 Discovery Miles 3 580 Save R61 (15%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In 2010, the world's oldest steamship line celebrated its 180th anniversary. For 183 years, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. has been the lifeline to the island, providing passenger and freight services for the island. Almost into the twentieth century, the ships were primarily paddle steamers but screw steamers took over then. In 1962, the first ro-ro ferries arrived and by the late 1990s catamarans were being used, offering a huge increase in speed. The ships saw service during both wars and IOMSP vessels carried about one in fourteen of all the soldiers rescued at Dunkirk. After numerous changes of owners, the IOMSP is now owned by Portuguese investment banks but continues to dominate the Irish Sea routes to the Isle of Man, despite the competition from air transport. Ian Collard, who has written many books on the Mersey and its ships, tells the story of the Steam Packet through time.

Golgotha Van Die Oseane - Skeepsrampe Aan Die Agulhas-kus (Afrikaans, Paperback): Jeannette Grobbelaar Golgotha Van Die Oseane - Skeepsrampe Aan Die Agulhas-kus (Afrikaans, Paperback)
Jeannette Grobbelaar
R167 Discovery Miles 1 670 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Die Suid-Kaapse Agulhas-kus is ongetwyfeld besaai met stories en legendes oor die tientalle skeepsrampe wat hulle aan hierdie gevaarlikste deel van die ganse Suid-Afrikaanse kuslyn afgespeel het.

Met hierdie besonderse boekstawing deur Jeanette Grobbelaar word hierdie boeiende verhale nie net byeengebring nie, maar word dit ook op só ‘n manier aangebied dat jy dié boek eenvoudig nie neer wíl sit nie.

Guiding Lights - The Extraordinary Lives of Lighthouse Women (Hardcover): Shona Riddell Guiding Lights - The Extraordinary Lives of Lighthouse Women (Hardcover)
Shona Riddell
R558 R448 Discovery Miles 4 480 Save R110 (20%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Women have a long history of keeping the lights burning, from tending ancient altar flames or bonfires to modern-day lighthouse keeping. Yet most of their stories are little-known. Guiding Lights includes true stories from around the world, chronicling the lives of the extraordinary women who mind the world's storm-battered towers. From Hannah and Grant Sutton, the two caretakers living alone on Tasmania's wild Maatsuyker Island, to Karen Zacharuk, the keeper in charge of Cape Beale on Canada's Vancouver Island, where bears, cougars and wolves roam, the lives of lighthouse women are not for the faint of heart. Stunning photographs from throughout history accompany accounts of the dramatic torching of Edna McKegg's Puysegur Point, one of NZ's most inhospitable lighthouses; 'haunted' lighthouses in across the US and their tragic tales; lighthouse accidents and emergencies around the world; and two of the world's most legendary lighthouse women: Ida Lewis (US) and Grace Darling (UK), who risked their lives to save others. The book also explores our dual perception of lighthouses: are they comforting and romantic beacons symbolising hope and trust, or storm-lashed and forbidding towers with echoes of lonely, mad keepers? Whatever our perception, stories of women's courage and dedication in minding the lights - then and now - continue to capture our imagination and inspire.

On the Account in the Golden Age - Piracy & the Americas, 1670-1726 (Paperback): Joseph Gibbs On the Account in the Golden Age - Piracy & the Americas, 1670-1726 (Paperback)
Joseph Gibbs
R827 R668 Discovery Miles 6 680 Save R159 (19%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Piracy along American coastlines and in the Caribbean in the late 1600s and early 1700s is often seen today through a colourful set of modern media archetypes. The reality, however, was usually more ugly and frequently lethal. In this book, author Joseph Gibbs goes back to original memoirs, monographs, newspaper articles, and trial records to present a stark picture of piracy in the era of Blackbeard, Bartholomew Roberts, and Ann Bonny and Mary Read. A prequel to Gibbs well received On the Account: Piracy and the Americas, 17661835, this book similarly presents primary sources chosen for authenticity. The contents are introduced, annotated, and carefully edited for modern readers. They offer a glimpse of piracy far removed from, and often more engaging than, the romanticised version provided by later writers and filmmakers. They describe, for example, the ordeal-filled marches of the Caribbean boucaniers, who were tough enough to eat leather while sacking the cities of the Spanish empire. They also shed light on the pirates tactics at sea and on land; their practice of forcing captives to join them; their often-sadistic cruelty; and their ships articles and the primitive democratic standards they upheld. Enhanced with classic maps and illustrations, The Golden Age offers an unvarnished look at those who sailed and often died under the dreaded black and red flags of the era. Readers will see pirates as they actually were -- in pursuit of prey, in battle, and sometimes on the way to the gallows.

They Couldn't Have Done it Without Us - The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War (Paperback): John Johnson-Allen They Couldn't Have Done it Without Us - The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War (Paperback)
John Johnson-Allen
R314 R271 Discovery Miles 2 710 Save R43 (14%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Over seventy merchant ships sailed in the Task force sent by Britain to recapture the Falkland islands in 1982. Some were Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, but the majority were STUFT-ships taken up from trade-and the officers and crew of these merchant vessels, all volunteers, suddenly found themselves thrust into a war zone in the South Atlantic. Remarkably little has been written about the part played by the Merchant navy, summarised by the official history of the campaign as 'an impenetrable mystery, girt about by seasickness' This book lifts the curtain on that mystery, to reveal something of the experiences of the merchant seamen and women who made possible the retaking of the Falkland islands. John Johnson-Allen, maritime historian and former merchant naval officer, combines personal accounts, documents and comment to bring to life the events of the Falklands War, as seen from the merchant ships that played such a vital role in that conflict.

The Lighthouse Stevensons (Paperback): Bella Bathurst The Lighthouse Stevensons (Paperback)
Bella Bathurst
R308 R223 Discovery Miles 2 230 Save R85 (28%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

An exciting new edition of Bella Bathurst's epic story of Robert Louis Stevenson's ancestors and the building of the Scottish coastal lighthouses against impossible odds. 'Whenever I smell salt water, I know that I am not far from one of the works of my ancestors,' wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in 1880. 'When the lights come out at sundown along the shores of Scotland, I am proud to think they burn more brightly for the genius of my father!' Robert Louis Stevenson was the most famous of the Stevensons, but not by any means the most productive. The Lighthouse Stevensons, all four generations of them, built every lighthouse round Scotland, were responsible for a slew of inventions in both construction and optics, and achieved feats of engineering in conditions that would be forbidding even today. The same driven energy which Robert Louis Stevenson put into writing, his ancestors put into lighting the darkness of the seas. The Lighthouse Stevensons is a story of high endeavour, beautifully told; indeed, this is one of the most celebrated works of historical biography in recent memory.

Pacific - An Ocean of Wonders (Hardcover): Philip Hatfield Pacific - An Ocean of Wonders (Hardcover)
Philip Hatfield 1
R889 R679 Discovery Miles 6 790 Save R210 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

If you centre a globe on Kiritimati (Christmas Island), all you see around it is a vast expanse of ocean. Islands of various sizes float in view while glimpses of continents encroach on the fringes, but this is a view dominated by water. The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea. The rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. With entries covering mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean, Pacific builds on recent interest in the voyages of James Cook to tell a broader history. This visually stunning publication highlights the importance of an ocean that covers very nearly a third of the surface of the globe, and which has dramatically shaped the world and people around it.

Shipping at Cardiff - Photographs from the Hansen Collection (Hardcover, New Updated): David Jenkins Shipping at Cardiff - Photographs from the Hansen Collection (Hardcover, New Updated)
David Jenkins
R277 R191 Discovery Miles 1 910 Save R86 (31%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

One of the greatest treasures in the archives of the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum is the Hansen Collection, consisting of over 4500 negatives of shipping taken at Cardiff Docks between 1920 and 1975. Lars Peter Hansen, a native of Copenhagen, settled in Cardiff in 1891 and he and his third son Leslie established a photographic business in the docks; taking pictures of ships for sale to seamen and shipowners was an important part of their business. Following the retirement of Leslie Hansen in 1975, the museum purchased the negative collection. Its historical value cannot be overstated and this album is intended as a tribute to the Hansens, who through their work have bequeathed to Wales a pictorial record of shipping activity at the nation's premier port.

An Innocent Bystander - The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer (Paperback): Julie Salamon An Innocent Bystander - The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer (Paperback)
Julie Salamon
R423 R344 Discovery Miles 3 440 Save R79 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Six Frigates - The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (Paperback): Ian W Toll Six Frigates - The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy (Paperback)
Ian W Toll
R483 R402 Discovery Miles 4 020 Save R81 (17%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.

From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian."

Unsinkable - The Full Story of Rms Titanic (Hardcover): Daniel Allen Butler Unsinkable - The Full Story of Rms Titanic (Hardcover)
Daniel Allen Butler
R469 Discovery Miles 4 690 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The familiar story of the RMS Titanic--from her tragic 10-second encounter with an iceberg to her descent to the bottom of the ocean some three hours later, taking with her more than 1,500 lives--still looms large in the popular imagination. Daniel Butler, a researcher and archivist, worked on this book for 30 years, intensively compiling facts not only about the event, but also about the characters who played an important role, from the actions of Captain Smith and his crew to the inescapable fate of the third-class passengers. He also offers the startling revelation of a nearby ship which ignored the Titanic's distress call because the shipmates were afraid to awaken their captain. Unsinkable explores every facet of the Titanic's history, from its conception to a modern-day researcher's attempts to salvage the ship. The author presents a contemporary view of the crew and the passengers aboard, creating a better understanding of the time and the social psyche that played a role in the disaster. Also of note is Butler's enlistment of a clinical psychologist to analyze Captain Smith's mental state as the drama unfolded before him. Butler's passionate yet balanced narrative permits readers to conclude for themselves who or what was ultimately responsible for sinking the unsinkable ship.

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