Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

dead wake cover imageDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Erik Larson
History
Broadway Books
Paperback, 480 pages
$17.00

NOW IN PAPERBACK! In May of 1915, a torpedo fired from a German submarine struck the RMS Lusitania, a British passenger ship with nearly 200 Americans aboard. She sunk off the coast of Ireland in less than 20 minutes, killing 1,200 passengers and crew, fully half of whose remains were never recovered. Common knowledge has it that this event drove the United States to enter a European war that would become World War I, but, in fact, while the Lusitania's fate played some role in that decision, it took two full years and the secret German Zimmerman telegram for the U.S. to enter the war in 1917. The Lusitania's story is in itself moving, and carries great historical significance, but these events positively glitter with life in Larson's engaging, quick-paced and captivating prose. Though it incorporates well-documented history, Larson's writing still contains elements of suspense for all but the most expert readers. Dead Wake is a masterpiece of gripping narrative nonfiction, arguably the most riveting of Larson's works.