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Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History Hardcover – March 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Barratt’s idea for distinguishing his version of the well-worked tale of the Titanic is this: to let stand verbatim, in all their contradictions and subjectivity, survivors’ and rescuers’ testimony about what happened on the night it sank. Eschewing a narrative, Barratt instead descriptively links such evidence with press articles, forming a chronicle of the fabled ocean liner’s brief history from construction to destruction. Likely to engage dedicated Titanic buffs, Barratt’s method reflects the great contemporary interest in the White Star Line’s new ship, built to compete with the rival Cunard Line’s Lusitania. Barratt’s volume includes the famous photographs of the Titanic, and of its officers, whose performance navigating the ship, then evacuating its passengers and crew, prompted controversy after the catastrophe. Whether Captain Smith sailed recklessly into an iceberg field; whether shipowner J. Bruce Ismay behaved cravenly; whether there was a panic; whether nearby vessels responded expeditiously to the Titanic’s distress calls—such debates arose from the differing survivors’ accounts that Barratt presents. Chock-full of information, this tome definitely has circulation potential. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

In this book, the dramatic story of the world's most famous ship is told through the voices of those who were there. If you want to know more about Titanic, this is the book to read. (Dr. Robert D. Ballard, co-discoverer of the RMS Titanic)

A fascinating new book that includes first-hand accounts, many previously unpublished, from survivors of Titanic's maiden voyage. (Daily Express (UK))

Barratt makes available to readers for the first time a wealth of primary documents and sources--and that is a very good thing. And, much to his credit, he does so without any agenda to advance, point of view to promote, or axes of any kind to grind: he lets the documents speak for themselves. For people who want to know more of the story of the Titanic from the perspective of her time as well as the men and women who built and sailed her, this book is a rare resource. (Daniel Allen Butler, author of Unsinkable and The Other Side of the Night)

Anyone who wonders what more could possibly be written about the Titanic will be surprised and delighted by Nick Barratt's book. It is an invaluable compilation that brings to light an array of fascinating, often moving documents that have never before been published. (Steven Biel, author of Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster)

Chockfull of information (Booklist)

What sets this book apart from others that have been published on this subject is that survivors are given the opportunity to tell their personal stories, in their own words, and unedited. The result is heartbreaking in detail and illuminating in its authenticity. (Tucson Citizen)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230622305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230622302
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Roberts on June 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really loved reading the actual letters and correspondence of the people who actually experienced being on the Titanic and of course, its sinking. Although we have learned so much of the technical aspects of what really happened since the survivors gave their accounts, they allow us an opportunity to really glimpse into the "gilded age" of ocean travel--and their way of life.

Of course, so many books have been written about the Titanic--and I have read so many of them. But this one compiles the actual correspondence of passengers in all three classes, as well as the crew who endured that fateful night. I truly did enjoy this book, as I feel any true Titanic enthusiast would.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on July 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Since I left school I haven't been doing too much educational reading. For the most part it has been books that I just want to read for fun and don't really have any kind of educational aspect to them (other than new vocab). So I decided I needed some schooling so I went for this book. It reminded me how much I don't miss reading for interpretation and for meaning.

This book did a great job of pointing out all of the instances of gross negligence that occurred on board the Titanic. For starters, not enough life boats which was a purely aesthetic call, rather than worry about saving lives, they wanted to make room for the second class passengers to stroll the deck. Hindsight tells me that the 59% of them that died would have preferred the lifeboat. Second! Those lifeboats didn't have everything they needed on them (like food and water) and some of them were not even close to capacity. 12 people were on lifeboat 1 (7 crew, 3 men, 2 women), that boat was meant to hold 45 people. Some boats that had space they refused to let people on.

The saddest instance was a newlywed couple who were separated even though there was space on her lifeboat for her husband and the teenage boy that the crewman threatened to shoot. There were so many things that I didn't realize happened when it came to the Titanic. Hollywood fills you with this idea that is what happened and it turns out that was wrong.

There was no chaos to get onto the lifeboats until it was almost too late. People assumed that they would be safer on the ship and not the lifeboats. I also never knew that the United States and Great Britain launched inquires and committees into finding out what happened that night.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Jackson on February 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
With all of the studies and collections detailing the Titanic and the stories of the survivors, it will eventually get to the point where there is simply nothing new or interesting to be said about the topic. Lost Voices from the Titanic proves that we've almost reached that point.

While there are documents used in the text that are new sources, they pale in comparison to what is already out there. A majority of eyewitness accounts are in the form of letter written to Walter Lord in 1955 as he prepared his own text on the ship. Lord was certainly a qualified historian, and he excellently picked the most important details from the letters to share in his book. Reading the original letter are nice, but ultimately offer little new information or insight. This batch of sources, regardless of if they have ever been published, was already picked over by a capable historian, and a book based on them is not really necessary. Many sources are actually quoted as being from a previously published collection of survivor accounts, calling in to question their inclusion in this text that focuses on "lost" voices.

Another large majority of the source text is drawn from the American and British hearings on the sinking. These have been released in full previously. Nothing new here. In fact, if anything, they are *overquoted* in this text and make for long spells of dry, technical reading that would turn away most casual readers.

Two passengers that receive special focus are Charlotte Collyer and Marion Wright. Some of their letters are interesting, but could have used a heavy editing, as farm details and social talk are not what one reads this book for.
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By Sibylla Barrett on April 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast shipping can't wait to read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Austin Kyle Sullivan on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Found it to be an enjoyable, informative read. Did notice the author reiterate a few ideas, but would recommend this to those who want to increase their knowledge on RMS Titanic, and those who sailed on her.
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