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The Titanic For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Stephen J. Spignesi
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Titanic For Dummies paints the whole picture of the most famous maritime disaster. It examines the building of the ship, life onboard during its maiden voyage, tragic decisions made that fateful night, the discovery of the wreck, and the many controversies that have emerged in the century since the sinking. Information includes:
  • Theories behind the reason for the sinking (does the blame lie with the watertight doors, bad rivets, or crew negligence?), and when and where the ship split in two.
  • A detailed look at how the lack of lifeboats — and the chaos that resulted in lifeboats launching before they reached capacity — resulted in lives lost.
  • A Titanic “Who’s Who” identifying notable passengers, including those who were famous before the tragedy and those who gained fame because of it.
  • Current thinking about reports of shots being fired onboard, the details of Captain Smith’s death, Murdoch’s possible suicide, and the band’s last song.
  • Findings from the Titanic hearings on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • A recounting of Robert Ballard’s discovery of the wreck in 1985 and the ongoing debate over whether to salvage the wreck or let the ship remain as a memorial to those who perished.
  • A glimpse of the most fascinating artifacts salvaged from the wreckage.
  • The Titanic in pop culture: from Broadway to one of the most highest grossing movies in history (being re-released in 3D in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary).

Editorial Reviews


'This quite possibly offers you everything you need to know about the ship...Spignesi's sidebars and modular chapters ensure that wherever you open the book there is a juicy nugget of information on the page.' (The Express, 13th April)

From the Back Cover

An all-encompassing exploration of the Titanic

Are you fascinated by the Titanic? The Titanic For Dummies covers every aspect of the subject, including how she was built, what life was like onboard during her maiden voyage, tragic decisions made on that fateful night, the discovery of the wreck, and all of the controversies surrounding one of the worst maritime disasters of all time.

  • The faces behind the legend – meet the larger-than-life people who deisgned, sailed on, crewed, and survived the Titanic sinking
  • Tragedy at seas – find out what happened on the night and early morning of April 14-15, 1912, when the Titanic sand and those lucky enough to find a place on a lifeboat waited to be rescued
  • Enduring Titanic mysteries – investigate different theories as to what caused the Titanic's demise and find out why the tragedy has kept conspiracy theorists busy for a century.
  • An ongoing quest for recovery – explore what it took to find the Titanic wreckage and why efforts to retrieve the ship's artifacts are such a source of controversy.

Open the book and find:

  • Why the Titanic has captured the public's imagination
  • How the ship came to be financed, built, and launched
  • What it was like to be a passenger, of every class
  • Firsthand accounts of the terrible night
  • The rescue efforts and the search for survivors
  • Some of the first newspaper accounts of the tragedy
  • Amazing artifacts salvaged from the ship's debris

Product Details

  • File Size: 3809 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (January 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VIG4P0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the "Titanic expert"... March 1, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the "RMS Titanic". Many books are being published to mark the anniversary, and this one, "The Titanic for Dummies", by Stephen Spignesi, is a fun book for the casual reader, interested in the basics of the disaster.

There are many "Titanic" experts who pour over every book written on the subject. This book is not for them. Instead, it gives the "basics" of the sinking - iceberg meets ship. The author delves into the behind-the-scenes details, from the development and building of the ship, to its design and claim to be "unsinkable", to the three levels on the ship, First Class, Second Class, and Steerage. Curiously, for all that I've read about "Titanic", most emphasis has been on the First Class cabins and passengers, and the Steerage cabins and passengers. Second Class seems to be ignored in many books, and this book actually showed a cabin in Second Class and gives other details of that ignored group of passengers.

Also delved into are the "politics" of the ship. Who built it, who designed it, and who steered it into that iceberg. And who went down with the ship. The tragic lack of lifeboats and the mishandling of many of the life boats the ship actually had, meant that fewer passengers survived than could have had the management of the boats been handled better by the crew. What happened after the "Titanic" sunk? Spignesi writes of the many ships in the area who had picked up the "Titanic's" distress calls, rushing to the scene but arriving to late to do anything but pick up the survivors in the life boats. He also tells of the many investigations, both in the US and the UK, which tried to parcel out blame for the sinking and suggest ways to prevent another tragedy.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Nature always wins" March 1, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The "unsinkable Titanic". This book is a fascinating account about everything Titanic from the passenger list to the food to the exercise room to the wondrous transformations offered wealthy men and women in the beauty parlors. Steerage did not swarm with "huddled masses yearning to be free," but with excited immigrants many of whom had spent their life savings ($350 to $900 at today's prices) to secure a bunk on the Titanic. Although class consciousness was alive and well on the Titanic nobody, even the lowliest passengers resented it. A first class stateroom ticket cost in today's money, $100,000. In the days before income tax the rich were rolling in money. And though the steerage passengers had to sweat to pay for their tickets,they were upbeat on the lower decks, their children no doubt joyous and upbeat as well. The great ship had an aura, an awesomeness that affected everybody and in that respect all the passengers were as one.

In 1912 you perhaps felt in a way- in a way- that building such a ship was challenging God. But few people likely thought God would win.The Titanic was simply too big, too luxurious, a leviathan of indestructibility. With her four deep yellow smoke stacks and gleaming decks, her luxurious, famous staircase, the Titanic was a monument to the very best, the epitome of ship building. (The well-known photograph of the beautiful mahogany staircase is actually of the staircase on Titanic's sister ship Olympia. However, the two staircases were identical).

When Titanic entered the treacherous water in a sea of icebergs, she clipped off ice chunks which careened onto the upper deck and playful passengers threw snowballs at each other.Titanic hit the iceberg at 11:40 pm, April 14, 1912.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just in time for the 100th anniversary February 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been a Titanic buff since reading Walter Lord's "A Night to Remember" back in high school in the early 70s. Lord's book and it's sequel "the Night Lives On", are still the definitive books on the Titanic, in my mind. So, I was not expecting much from this book but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I thought this would be a condensed version of alot of other books and info on the Titanic, which it basically is, but there is alot of info here that I had never heard before, and I have read alot of books on the subject. The book has the latest info on the topic all the way up to the current year. Kudos to the author. While I would have liked to have seen some coverage of things like "the Mystery ship", which wasn't covered, I realize the book is not meant to be exhaustive, but more like an appetizer. This is a perfect starting point for the novice or person with a casual interest in the topic, but the veteran fan will find alot to like here as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read it via Kindle and you can pick it up and go anytime you choose. Full of facts and figures, a treat to read and easy on the eye. Highly recommended reading, and especially good for Titanic buffs like me. Glen. (Victoria, Australia)
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Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THE TITANIC FOR DUMMIES is a truly amazing, accurate, and comprehensive compilation of facts and anecdotes about the sinking of the Titanic and its recent rediscovery. Since childhood, I've read and watched nearly everything I could find about the Titanic, but there are details in author Stephen Spignesi's book that are totally new to me. For example, I did not know--although I probably should have--that the Titanic's sister ship Olympic was refitted after the disaster with extra hull plating and riveting, a new watertight skin in the boiler and engine rooms, and extensions to the most vulnerable watertight bulkheads, because the weaknesses in the Titanic's design were well known at the time.

The standard breezy "Dummies" format is--at least at times--a little too lighthearted for a book about such a serious event. For example, it might have been a good idea to drop cartoonist Rich Tennant's usual contributions (on the title pages for Parts I-VI), although the cartoons are, as always, mildly amusing. Also, the book's format--with its many boxes for factoids, script-style boldface headings, and "sound byte" style of presenting text--breaks up the narrative and interferes somewhat with the reader's understanding of the unfolding of the disaster itself. However, many books have been written that tell the story of the sinking itself (for example, Walter Lord's superb classic, A Night to Remember), so there is certainly room for a new book about the Titanic that focuses on historical facts and is written clearly and entertainingly with the intent to engage the reader.

Whatever you may want to know about the Titanic, you will find it discussed in this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN, fact filled book! Every thing you ever wanted to know about...
FUN book full of facts and Titanic trivia. I got this one because our museum hosted a Titanic exhibit which I docented, and literally every fact or figure you could think of was at... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ruth Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Titanic Fan
I have been studying the TITANIC all my life, and will soon be teaching a course on it at a local college. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cheryl A. Pula
5.0 out of 5 stars Students Love It!
I bought this for some of my students to read and they love it! Happy, Happy, Happy! If they like it...then all is good!
Published 16 months ago by V. Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Fastinating Read!
I can't put the book down; it's facinating. It holds my interest that much. I'm glad that I bought it.
Published 20 months ago by Monica A. Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, fun, and interesting
I'm a bit of a history buff when it comes to the Titanic. I've read a handful of books about the Titanic. Of course I had to add the Dummies version to my collection! Read more
Published 22 months ago by L. Abel
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Titanic book.
Don't let the title fool you, this is a well put together book by an author who has a passion for the subject.
Published on January 7, 2013 by William Temanu
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...
Reading the details of the sinking, the biographies of the passengers, the design of the ship left me very emotional. Read more
Published on October 21, 2012 by PaganDeva2000
5.0 out of 5 stars fun Titanic "basics" book
As an avid Titanic fan, I enjoyed this book. While there were no new surprises obviously for me, it was a opportunity to enjoy getting back to the basics. Read more
Published on October 14, 2012 by Matthew Ptak
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing amount of information!
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and the market has been flooded with so many books centered around it. Read more
Published on August 20, 2012 by tweezle
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Great primer for Titanic beginners
Chock-full of facts that range from the building of the Titanic to the 1985 expedition when it was finally found to why the ship's legacy still lives on, THE TITANIC FOR DUMMIES is... Read more
Published on June 20, 2012 by Crochet Ghoul
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