“Dead Wake” was an awakening

posted Jun 7, 2015, 12:23 PM by Bruce Gaughran   [ updated Jun 7, 2015, 12:28 PM ]
This morning I finished reading, “Dead Wake, The Last Crossing of the Lusitania,” by Erik Larson. The book is narrative non-fiction and Mr. Larson’s style kept me turning the pages.

From what I can remember in school, the sinking of the Lusitania was what propelled the United States into WW-I. WRONG! It took the sinking of several more U.S. ships as well as the discovery of a coded message from Germany to Mexico to wake up our government–two years later. But that is only a small piece of the story.

The real story is about the men, women and children, 1,959 of them, who were aboard the Lusitania as well as the German U-boat who sunk it. Intermingled wonderfully throughout the book are the politics, war machines, companies and personal stories of those who were all part of, and often the cause of, this disaster.

1,198 passengers and crew died that fateful day. Most of those who died shouldn’t have. Human error, poor

judgement, politics and intelligence agencies were the real cause of this tragic event. Mr. Larson marvelously brings what happened before, during and after the sinking together into a tense drama. His ability to switch from the hunted to the hunter’s perspective kept me engaged. I found it difficult to put down.

I highly recommend this book. It is a piece of history that is not told, but is history that needs to be known.Bravo Mr. Larson!