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Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy Hardcover – April 17, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Originally written in 1986 in anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy was issued in a second edition in 1994, after the authors got a chance to explore the wreckage. They added some haunting color photographs and extra text in which they muse on the emotional impact of what they call the "artefacts" retrieved: an ivory hairbrush with hair caught in its bristles, a legible newspaper, and a business card with a phone number scribbled in pencil on the back. In its boxy photographic layout and sober prose, the book feels like a historic artifact itself. The authors scrupulously avoid any trace of modern hype, letting the quietly stated facts speak for themselves: the ship was the largest moving manmade object of its day; on the proud clock in the grand first-class entryway, the allegorical figure of Time was flanked by Honour and Glory; one intrepid old lady saved fellow passengers by locating them in the waves with the flashlight built into her cane. "With more than 1500 still on board," the authors write, "and just 47 available spaces in collapsible [lifeboat] D, [Officer] Lightoller instructs the crew to lock arms and form a circle around the boat. Only women and children are permitted to pass through that circle." This book gives a sense of what it might have been like to enter that circle--or be excluded.

From the Back Cover

Eight decades after the sinking of the Titanic, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives, the public's fascination with the ship, the tragedy and its mysterious aftermath remains as strong as ever. The new edition of this highly respected book offers a comprehensive chronicle of the entire saga, from the liner's design as the supposedly safest vessel afloat, through her maiden voyage carrying the social, artistic and financial elite of two continents, and her sinking in the early hours of 15 April 1912. It continues up to the discovery of the wreck in 1985, the controversy surrounding the recovering of artifacts from the vessel and an account of their conservation and preservation. John Eaton and Charles Haas, two renowned Titanic experts, have themselves dived down to the wreck. Their exclusive seabed photographs form the basis of a new and fascinating color section. Also featured in this updated and expanded edition is an additional chapter covering the 1985 discovery, the 1986 crewed exploration, the 1987 artifact recovery, the 1991 cinematic expedition, and the 1993 research and recovery expedition. Coverage of the 1992 British Ministry of Transport's reassessment of evidence dealing with the Californian, together with the most detailed passenger list yet published, further enhance the book's acclaimed comprehensiveness. The Titanic was one of the best photographed vessels of all time. Here is an astonishingly thorough pictorial record of her brief existence. Beginning with her conception, more than a thousand photographs and artists' impressions cover her construction and launching, her fitting-out and trials, preparations for her maiden passenger-carrying voyage, her departure fromSouthampton and arrival at Cherbourg, her voyage to Queenstown, and the drama of her final disaster after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, and the aftermath through to the present day. There are photos of her designers and builders, her passengers and crew, and of other vessels in her vicinity when she sank, including the Carpathia and the Californian. Also featured are astonishing pictures of the wreck two and a half miles beneath the sea. There are sections on the American and British inquiries and on the world's memorials to the Titanic and her people.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd ed. edition (April 17, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393036979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393036978
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.3 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Severin Olson on November 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I must say this is the most comprehensive book on the Titanic I have yet seen. Every facet of the liner's history from its origins to the wreck exploration is covered. Each chapter includes pictures of everything connected to the ship. Anyone with any interest in Titanic at all should have a copy.
I did think the authors could have done better with their chapter on the sinking itself though. As it is they wrote little text and tell the story through picture captions! It is as if a book on the Kennedy assassination covered details of the flight to Dallas and then said little about the shooting itself. I also feel the authors were a bit too soft on Lord of the Californian.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the most outstanding book I have ever read. The pictures, the information, it could not have been written better. Anyone would love this book. Those who are in search of unique pictures would find this book invaluable, likewise those who are in search of information, facts, nowhere else seen loss of property claims would too find this book invaluable. Upon seeing this book in the book shop (I did not buy it here) I gave it absolutely no second thought and regardless of price bought it. I am a Titanic historian and I'm picky about the books I buy, and this book is just about the best book in my collection. Don't hesitate, buy it, you will not regret it.
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Format: Hardcover
I have spent around $200 on Titanic documentary videos and books about the lost luxury liner. When I bought Titanic, Triumph & Tragedy, I was astounded at the amount of information given, especially about the initial sea trials of Titanic in March 1912. If I could tell you to buy only one Titanic book, this one would be it!
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By A Customer on July 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book has lots and lots of pictures, which is great for those of you who are not big on reading. I loved the insurance claims from the various 1st class passengers, some of them were extremely detailed so much so as to be ridiculous (Charlotte Cardeza's for example) Oh, to be rich in 1912! The pictures were eye-candy for a Titanic nut like myself, it is a very detailed, excellent book!
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Format: Hardcover
This is the most outstanding book I have ever read. The pictures, the information, it could not have been written better. Anyone would love this book. Those who are in search of unique pictures would find this book invaluable, likewise those who are in search of information, facts, nowhere else seen loss of property claims would too find this book invaluable. Upon seeing this book in the book shop (I did not buy it here) I gave it absolutely no second thought and regardless of price bought it. I am a Titanic historian and I'm picky about the books I buy, and this book is just about the best book in my collection. Don't hesitate, buy it, you will not regret it.
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By A Customer on March 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Eaton & Haas have done it again! Their first book "Destination Disaster" was well-done, but this just shows that you can't get enough information on the Titanic. The only book that is equal to this one would be "An Illustrated History" by Lynch [another noted Titanic Historian]. A must have for the definative Titanic book collection, this book offers photos and information not usually found in most books. Quite an interesting find and something you won't want to pass up.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love the book. The pictures are great, the information is so detailed it is amazing, the way the chapters are layed out and written makes you want to continue on to the next pages. I was afraid the book would be somewhat like an Encyclopedia-like lecture... Boy was I wrong! It's writing is so good it makes you feel you are actually talking with the author in person. The pictures are great: there are even pictures of cabins and the author specifies the cabin number! I rated the book 9 and not 10 though because I do think that they could have done a little better job at the "Disaster" Chapter, which is where the authors narrate the last 2 hours and 40 min. of the greatest and most tragic voyage of all times, and also I think it would had being better to have a couple more pictures of the wreckage. Anyway, You MUST read this book because even if it is not a perfect 10 (for me) it is the closest to it, and maybe for you it can be a 10 rate. Congratulations to the authors on such a fantastic book, and thanks a million for publishing it!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was top on my list to get and had been missing from my collection for many years. After reading through it, it was somewhat of a disappointment. I felt that the author's previous book Destination Disaster was a better and more thorough read. The book is great for pictures (which is probably its main selling point), some of which are quite rare, however the main body of the text is very truncated and limited. There are much better books out there if you are looking for a more solid comprehensive history of Titanic (namely On A Sea of Glass). The chapters dealing with the aftermath of Titanic's sinking were, for the most part, better handled and contained information that is little known, and I felt these were the best chapters of the book. The pro-Lord (Californian) stance was a major turn off for this book as well.

All in all, its a good 'starter' book, but the reader must beware and not take everything they read at face value. However flawed, I'm still glad that I finally own a (signed) copy of the book.
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