From Publishers Weekly
Expeditions to find Titanic
began in 1953, but all of them failed until 1985, when Ballard (in collaboration with French explorer Jean-Louis Michel) pinpointed the ship's location and photographed it in detail. Since then, Ballard has retained a deep emotional connection to Titanic
. "The ship wouldn't change much in my lifetime," he says, "if left unmolested by treasure hunters." But "salvagers, pirates, filmmakers, [and] thrill-seekers" have, in his view, raped a cherished monument, a view that has faced fierce opposition by many. With co-writer Sweeney, Ballard thoroughly reviews Titanic
's history and the catastrophic events that led to her demise. He describes his dream of turning the ship into a museum on the ocean floor, easily explored from above by computer. As he discusses his 2004 return voyage to the wreck, Ballard will hold Titanic
-philes riveted by the human and scientific elements of the tragedy. He gives specific detail, writing, "[the] mast from which the lookouts issued warnings had collapsed into the well deck." Although the text recycles much familiar material, it's Ballard's passion and expertise that make this book tick. The book's most unique contributions are the numerous photos of those who have died while analyzing and photographing the wreckage, and the pictures of the intricate equipment used to accomplish the monumental task of undersea exploration. Photos.
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On the night of April 14, 1912, Titanic
sank in the icy North Atlantic, and 1,523 people aboard the ship drowned. About 6,000 artifacts have been removed from the vessel and the water around it since Ballard discovered the ship 13,000 feet below the surface in 1985. In May 2003 Ballard returned to document the damage done to the ship since then. "Ensuring Titanic
's preservation was at the heart of the expedition," he writes. Ballard wants to give the vessel the same kind of protection "that has shielded other national and international treasures." He tells how his team discovered the ship and how they returned a year later to explore the wreckage in a three-man submersible. He chronicles their return in May, documenting the damage and decay that has occurred. Additionally, Ballard recounts the ship's history, describing in moving detail the night it went down. The book, with 125 photographs, is a remarkable account of this disaster and its aftermath. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved