From Publishers Weekly
Great Lakes historian Schumacher (Mighty Fitz: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
) profiles another nautical tragedy. The Carl D. Bradley
, a 638-foot limestone carrier, sank to Lake Michigan's cold bottom 50 years ago this November. Known as the "Queen of the Stone-Carrying Fleet," it was the most expensive wreck in the history of the Great Lakes, totaling $8 million. The human cost was far greater, as many of the 33 deceased lived in one city, the ship's port of Rogers City, Mich. Schumacher is a rigorous reporter and researcher, covering the ship's shaky state, the harrowing wreck and risky rescue with assurance and clarity. There are a few missteps, a chapter on the wreck of the Cedarville
in 1965 feeling like padding. By profiling the Carl D.
's crew and detailing their lives in Rogers City, Schumacher gives a human face to the tragedy, infusing the book with dramatic substance to match the riveting narrative. (Nov.)
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This chronicle of the November 1958 sinking of the limestone carrier Carl D. Bradley in Lake Michigan is sure to appeal to the many fans of Junger’s The Perfect Storm (1997). Almost the entire crew of 35 died when the ship was literally torn in half during a fierce storm; the book recounts the incident and its tragic aftermath, including a dramatic search-and-rescue effort. It’s a poignant story, made even more poignant by the fact that most of the crew’s families lived in the same small town, Rogers City; this isn’t just a story about a tragedy on the water, but about an entire town coming to terms with the sudden loss of so many of its friends and family. Schumacher, the author of several nonfiction books including Mighty Fitz (2005), about the more famous sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, writes with a steady hand, never letting the drama or emotion of the moment overwhelm the storytelling. A solid and sometimes heartbreaking addition to the maritime-tragedy genre. --David Pitt