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Voyagers of the Titanic Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; English Language edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061876844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061876844
  • ASIN: 0061876844
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic nears, expect a rush of books and articles. As before, it is likely that many of them will inflate the historical importance of the disaster, imparting meaning where none exists. Hines, a biographer and journalist, pays the usual homage to these efforts by stressing the class divisions aboard ship and the illusions of technological supremacy shattered by the power of nature. He offers interesting explanations of the formation of icebergs, ship design, and the nature of transatlantic travel. His account rises above most others in his concentration upon those who died and those who survived what was, after all, a vast collection of individual human tragedies. He describes individuals from each of three designated classes of travel. Although we learn little new about the superrich in first class, Hines avoids taking cheap shots at them. The vignettes covering those in second and third class are especially moving, as Hines stresses the hopes of many to begin a new life in America. This is a well-done and creative retelling of a still-riveting story. --Jay Freeman

Review

“Here at last is the true memorial ... a book well worthy of marking the centenary of the crystal-clear night when the immense ship slid to her terrible doom” (Simon Winchester)

“An astonishing work, of meticulous research, which allows us to know, in painful detail, the men and women on that fateful voyage. Even now, a hundred years later, Mr. Davenport-Hines finds a new, and heart-breaking, story to tell.” (Julian Fellowes, Creator and Executive Producer of "Downton Abbey")

“Paints a provocative portrait of the “upstairs, downstairs” social stratification in play aboard the doomed ship. A-” (Entertainment Weekly)

“The story of the Titanic has been told many times; this one takes a sociological perspective, with the confident, graceful prose of fine fiction.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Impressive in both its writing and reporting... It’s a romp. You don’t know who will be strolling down the deck next.” (USA Today)

“A shattering human story that is also, when told as well as Davenport-Hines tells it, utterly compelling.” (Sunday Times (UK), lead review)

“Eloquent and absorbing… It will stay afloat long after the armada of other Titanic books have gone down.” (The Telegraph (UK))

“This will not be the last book on the Titanic, but it is a safe bet that there will not be a better.” (The Spectator (UK), lead review)

“Meticulous... detailed account.” (Women's Wear Daily.com)

“This intelligent book focuses not on the ship so much as its passengers. Bolstered by photographs of the people who built, staffed, sailed on and survived the Titanic, Davenport-Hines finds a slew of new points of view from which to scan history.” (Denver Post)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 38 customer reviews
The amount of attention and detail Mr. Davenport-Hines has put into this book is impressive.
M
Yet, along comes this very good book which provides a perspective unlike most all others...by dealing with the very human stories of most of the people involved.
Erik_In_Vegas
The extent to which one enjoys this book may have to do with how widely one has read about the Titanic disaster.
IsolaBlue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Stone on April 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For mysterious reasons, this edition has been heavily edited from the book's original UK release. Not even the title was kept the same: the British version, available on Amazon.co.uk, is called "Titanic Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew"--a considerably punchier heading, in my opinion. I have not been able so far to do a page-by-page comparison, but from the tables of contents and page counts it is clear that in the US version three entire chapters, roughly 60 pages, of the book's first part ("Embarkation" in the UK, "On Land" in the US) have been cut, with some (all?) of this material worked into the existing chapters of the second part ("On Board"/"At Sea"). One can only wonder why this was done and to what extent the author was involved. A possible (albeit ridiculous) explanation might be that the three chapter headings in question, "American Millionaires," "Atlantic Migrants," and "Imported Americans," were considered offensive to the notoriously over-developed (or entirely imaginary, depending on your point of view) American sense of political correctness. Be that as it may, and depending on your own personal sensibilities, you might want to check out the book as originally published before spending money on this version.

UPDATE (April 28): The US edition is missing roughly 25% of the original text, including the three full chapters mentioned above, as well as individual sections, from sentences to paragraphs to pages, in existing chapters. As far as I can tell, none of this material has been moved to other places. I suppose the title change is meant to reflect that these really are two different books.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Alla S. VINE VOICE on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Voyagers of the Titanic" marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic by re-telling the stories of the passengers aboard this ship and the events before, during, and after the sinking.

Part One gives a general overview of the Titanic on land, and the shipowners as well as the shipbuilders that were behind it. Separate sections also follow the sailors, and discuss the boarding and the speed. Part Two follows the Titanic at sea and describes the people on the voyage--the first class, second class, third class, and the officers and crew. Part Three follows the collision and the events to happen afterwards.

I found it interesting how much detail the author was able to gather about the ship and its accommodations, as well as the huge difference between the social classes. As the author notes, "With the exception of the officers' quarters on the boat deck, the second-class smoking room at the end of the B deck, and the second-class library and third-class lounge and smoking room on the C deck, most of this superstructure was dedicated to the needs of the first-class passengers. And the first class, as described in this book, with all of its elevators, Turkish baths, gymnasiums, libraries, barber shops, and dark room for photographers, among other accommodations, was certainly striking.

However where this book really shines is when it shares the stories of the passengers. Several well-known personalities of the times who had tickets cancelled shortly before Titanic was set to sail--among them Clay Frick, Pierpont Morgan, George Vanderbilt Milton Hershey and Robert Bacon, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to France. Others weren't so lucky. There were at least seven sets of honeymooners in first class, among them Jack Astor who owned much of New York.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on March 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Several books have been written on the Titanic, with more to follow now with the 100th anniversary coming up next month. At least to me the first part of this book got off to a slow start with a lot of detailed information regarding the shipbuilders, shipowners, sailors, and even the passengers on the ship. I expected some detail, but not as much as the book included. I did find it interesting that several dozen miners from Cornwall, England, were on the ship headed to the Quincy Mine in Copper Country in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I live. They all perished in the ship's sinking.

My interest in the book picked up considerably from the time the ship hit the iceberg, the chaos that followed in getting passengers to leave the ship into a lifeboat, the subsequent arrival in New York, and what became of some of the survivors. I found it interesting that the ship may very well have survived had it not swerved to hit the iceberg. Chances of its survival would have been much better had it hit the iceberg head on. In addition the ship's speed was too fast in these dangerous waters. Perhaps those involved want to impress how quickly they could cross the Atlantic.

Chaos reigned in getting passengers to disembark from the ship with passengers being told there was no great danger to avoid panic. Initially lifeboats were cast into the water only half full. The ship's captain, Bruce Ismay, has often been criticized for going into a lifeboat at the end saying he should have "gone down with the ship." He wasn't taking anyone's place in a boat. It would only have been an additional needless waste of life. A great deal of consternation took place in New York regarding the many rumors of the ship's fate or who was among the survivors.
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