Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
How to Survive the Titanic: The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay Paperback – March 27, 2012
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
“It is a pleasure to read a book…that offers something new on this topic. Titanic completists will certainly want this, and also…readers of biography and Edwardian-era history.” (Library Journal)
“The author demonstrates an impressive knowledge of that night to remember. ” (Kirkus)
“Wilson herself casts a Conradian spell…finds submerged truths, unravels riddles, listens to echoes. This book is a deep reading of the catastrophe through one hapless, inert man.” (Hermione Eyre, Evening Standard)
“A haunting story…A meticulously researched and eloquently written account of one of the twentieth century’s most iconic disasters [that] explores a man ‘mired in the moment of his jump.’” (Lucy Scholes, Daily Beast "Must Reads")
“A gripping retrospective on the Titanic disaster seen through the eyes of the wealthy ship’s owner…and an inspired interweaving of the moral themes of guilt and responsibility” (Richard Holmes, Wall Street Journal)
“A gripping account…Wilson brings a bright new perspective to the event raising provocative moral questions about cowardice and heroism, memory and identity, survival and guilt.” (Forbes)
“Persuasive…examines the disaster afresh through the prism of Ismay’s life…Ultimately, Wilson’s portrait-empathetic rather than sympathetic-depicts Ismay as an Everyman troublingly suited to our own uncertain times.” (BusinessWeek)
From the Back Cover
On April 14, 1912, as one thousand men prepared to die, J. Bruce Ismay, the owner of the RMS Titanic, jumped into a lifeboat filled with women and children and rowed away to safety. He survived the ship's sinking—but his life and reputation would never recover.
Examining Ismay through the lens of Joseph Conrad's prophetic novel Lord Jim—and using Ismay's letters to the beautiful Marion Thayer, a first-class passenger with whom he had fallen in love during the voyage—biographer Frances Wilson explores the shattered shipowner's desperate need to tell his story, to make sense of the horror of it all, and to find a way of living with the consciousness of his lost honor. For those who survived the Titanic, the world was never the same. But as Wilson superbly demonstrates, we all have our own Titanics, and we all need to find ways of surviving them.
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
Where the book becomes frustrating for those who wish to read about the Titanic is in the constant references to Joseph Conrad's `Lord Jim'. `Lord Jim' is referred to with increasing frequency as you progress through the pages until at one point you can read for almost 20 pages and not have word said about what the title of the book says the subject material is ...how to survive the sinking of the Titanic. It's like being back in an English literature class where one examines every nuance and comparison between two assigned subject materials. Forster and Gainesworthy are also included in this literary examination to some extent. It would have been better to present the book as it is - a comparison to Lord Jim and Conrad's writings with historical details on the life of Ismay.
The analization of Ismay's life after the Titanic's sinking is done well.Read more ›
With no possibility of entertaining conversation or sleep you are especially thankful that you have your new Titanic book. An hour later the book is stowed in the seat pocket in front of you and you have borrowed the binder of actuarial charts. For the remaining seven hours of the flight you immerse yourself in the study of risk management, unexpectedly finding the subject of great interest in a world where everything is relative, even degrees of boredom.
Wilson's area of interest is English literature and her pitch to the Harper Collins Publishing House must have been to the effect that she could bring something new to the Titanic universe by drawing parallels between the Titanic's story (and especially White Star Lines' owner J. Bruce Ismay) and Joseph Conrad's "Lord Jim". So if you thought Francis Ford Coppola's "Heart of Darkness" inspired "Apocalypse Now" was a bad idea you would be wise to give Wilson's book a wide berth (pun intended).
If you are masochistic and/or take perverse pleasure from the folly of book publishers you might find "How to Survive the Titanic" of some amusement value.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The early parts of this are a bit slow and tedious, with little new or exciting information, kind of like an extensive biographical term paper. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Donald J. Bingle
Some interesting info about Bruce Ismay and the Titanic but I found the writing confusing at times. Still, I would recommend.Published on April 7, 2014 by lgr
Others say it more eloquently, and with more detail, but here's the bottom line on this book. Two thirds of it is a look at the life of J. Bruce Ismay in the context of Titanic. Read morePublished on February 25, 2014 by Born Band Creature
One of several books ordered and received but i have not had time to read yet. Looking forward to reading it.Published on February 2, 2014 by carol hancock
Ever since my Titanic fascination started I've had a soft spot for Ismay. I felt he was tormented by the American press and thought it extremely unfair to put all the blame on his... Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by Roxanne
The best part of the book for me is the description of the sinking and the subsequent rescue of the survivors. The hour by hour account of J. Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by Cesar Barron
Not enough scholarly work has been written about J. Bruce Ismay, the White Star Lines chief who saved himself from the Titanic while so many others perished. Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by chatter
I can't figure out whether this book is a nonfiction exploration of Bruce Ismay and his relationship to the Titanic, or a literary musing upon Joseph Conrad's novels and short... Read morePublished on June 14, 2013 by S. Daniel
I'll admit it, I never saw the movie "Titanic". I may be the only person alive who can honestly say that. I am interested in history, however, so picked up this book to read. Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by kdea473