Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson (2015)
Once again, Erik Larson has taken an intriguing historical event, researched the heck out of it, and spun a dramatic yarn that brings history to life with all the compelling drama of a first-rate thriller. Unlike the more famous Titanic disaster, before reading Dead Wake my knowledge of the Lusitania’s sinking was lacking, with a vague inkling that it served as one of many trigger points leading to America’s entry into WWI. After reading this, you will understand why.
Larson’s telling of the ocean liner’s final, fateful voyage in 1915 keeps the drama moving along through multiple points of view, including the Lusitania’s captain, the venerable captain of the German U-boat that sank the Lusitania, various passengers en route from New York to Liverpool, and President Woodrow Wilson, distracted by the death of his wife and then the prospect of a new romance.
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