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Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner Hardcover – March 19, 2012

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Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner + The Titanic Pocketbook: A Passenger's Guide
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393082407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393082401
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“...this is a well-written work that will appeal especially to Titanic buffs, who will appreciate a different perspective.” (Jay Freeman - Booklist)

About the Author

John Maxtone-Graham is the author of The Only Way to Cross, which has been in print for almost forty years. He lives in New York City when not lecturing aboard ocean liners and cruise ships.

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Customer Reviews

To me it is the best book on the trial ever published.
I can only surmise that this book was written to cash in on the flurry of books and other items that commemorate the centenial of the Titanic's first and last voyage.
G.I Gurdjieff
There are also assumptions in the book that a serious author would not use.
Michael Poirier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Michael Poirier on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Interest in the Titanic ebbs and flows like the tide. Years ago, a new book on the subject only came out once and awhile. Ship enthusiasts and researchers would run and buy it to devour what new knowledge may be contained within its pages. The past thirty years or so, the amount of books on the subject has greatly multiplied, especially when the general public became interested due to its 1985 discovery, the artifact recovery and exhibits, and then Cameron's blockbuster film. The increase in books meant that the bulk of the new publications were rehashed material bordering on plagiarism, poorly researched, and, in some cases, the author just made things up to make it more interesting. Luckily, there are still several excellent books to be had , but one must be careful to sort out the good ones from the bad ones. The 100th anniversary may be the last big wave of interest and it will again quiet down to where people interested in ocean liners and Titanic are the only buyers.

The product description would excite anyone interested in Titanic. It claims the following,
"The dean of ocean liner historians uncovers fascinating and unknown aspects of this epic disaster. This is a book unlike any other. Rather than offering simply a detailed retelling of the Titanic sinking on her maiden voyage, John Maxtone-Graham devotes his considerable knowledge and impeccable prose to a discussion of salient, provocative, and rarely investigated components of the story, including dramatic survivors' accounts of the events of the fateful night, the role of newly in-vented wireless telecommunication in the disaster, the construction and its ramifications at the famous Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and the dawn rendezvous with the rescue ship Carpathia.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By BillC on April 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a great read. I have enjoyed his other books, especially "The Only Way to Cross" but this just reads like his publisher told him to cobble together a Titanic book to capitalize on the 100th anniversary of the sinking.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L'escribe on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have a tendency to withdraw newer books from the public library before buying on Amazon, (who wants to spend money needlessly these days) and the newest I have read is a wonderful little gem of a book, aptly entitled, "Titanic Tragedy" by the wonderful John Maxtone-Graham, prodigious author and ocean liner historian. Rest assured I will purchase this book through Amazon, and you should too, if you are a Titanic-phile, as I am.

This book is only 235 pages, but a satisfying and fairly easy read, companionable, with narratives that evoke the people and circumstances of, arguably, the greatest maritime disaster in United States and British history.

Maxtone-Graham writes in a style similar to Walter Lord's excellent narratives of the disaster, "A Night to Remember" and "The Night Lives On". It is not encyclopedic in nature, but, rather, an homage of chapters encapsulating all of the pertinent players of the tragedy, giving one a new appreciation of the disaster and, in this centennial memorial year remembering its passing, thoughts of those lives needlessly sacrificed due to arrogance, complacency and neglect.

I cannot agree with one of the reviewers here who condemned this book and its author for supposed strident inaccuracies, lack of footnotes and proper bibliography.


I have been a member of the Titanic Historical Society for many years, almost from its inception as Titanic Enthusiasts of America in 1963, have read multitudes of books on Titanic, and, as well, have multitudes of books in my personal library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Neels on March 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any ocean liner history buff is familiar with the name John Maxtone Graham. As the author of "The Only Way to Cross," he is best known on both sides of the Atlantic for his chronicling of the long-lost lifestyle of Atlantic travel that dominated the early decades of the twentieth century. Not only in print, Graham has also been featured in numerous televised documentaries--many of which cover the most famous ocean liner in history, the Titanic. And while Graham is not necessarily a Titanic historian, he is nonetheless familiar enough with that tragedy to write on it with some authority (after all, he did personally edit the memoirs of one of Titanic's survivors, Violet Jessop). As such, it was only a matter of time before his fans would be treated with this ocean liner expert's take on that, the most famous ship in history. But if Titanic buffs were expecting from Graham's "Titanic Tragedy" a new narrative of the sinking of the great ship, they were to be sorely disappointed. This is less due to any one failure on Graham's part--although the argument has fairly been made that his book suffers from a lack of thorough fact checking (indeed, this reviewer found a number of misstatements, and even found fault with the artwork on the dust jacket!). Instead, it is due more likely from the unfounded expectations of his readers. "Titanic Tragedy" is much less a narrative history than it is a compilation of reflections on obscure aspects of the ship's construction, life, death, and legacy. It reads very much like a publication of individual lectures, which--given the author's career as a shipboard lecturer--is probably not far from the mark. Thus, if you are looking for a complete history of the Titanic disaster, this is not the book for you.Read more ›
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