With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster on April 15th, 2012, there has been renewed interest in the ship and its untimely end. Inspiring countless movies and books, the Titanic sinking is the worst maritime disaster in history, with 1,514 passengers and crew members losing their lives.
If you are interested in reading more about the disaster, we’ve compiled a list of just a few of the fiction and non-fiction titles available at the library. Some of the books, such as Titanic: An Illustrated History, reveal details about every aspect of the ship, while others, like Voyagers of the Titanic, focus on stories of the passengers themselves. Many fictional accounts have also been written about the disaster, such as The Dressmaker, a recently-released historical novel about a seamstress who survives the voyage only to be caught up in rumors and scandal when back on land. Click here for the full list of Titanic selections.
Erik Larson is the master of the researched narrative. He can take on the most intricate historical event and craft a compelling book out of it, often following the grisly path of a serial killer or some cataclysmic natural disaster. In his latest book, "In the Garden of Beasts", he has turned his attention to the beginnings of World War II and the rise of the Nazis in Germany.
Larson uses memoirs, personal correspondence, official records, newspaper articles and journal entries to piece together the story of William Edward Dodd, U.S. ambassador to Germany from 1933 to 1937, and his daughter, Martha. Although closely related, the two have dissimilar views about the changes happening in Germany but realize that Adolf Hitler's leadership will rip apart the world.
Larson's greatest ability is to take readers back to these turbulent times possessing the clear knowledge of what is to come. He makes it possible to see where diplomacy could have changed the future and how America failed to see what was coming. Through the eyes of the Doddses, he allows readers to understand how these mistakes were so easily made.
-- Review by Gena Fisher, Belt Branch reference assistant
Gary Eclebarger's incisive book about the 1864 Battle of Atlanta provides a comprehensive look at one of the Civil War's most decisive-- but less heralded-- battles. Read this book, then check out the movie "Gone with the Wind" to see another rendition of war-time Atlanta.
The book discusses President Lincoln's multi-faceted dilemma of appointing disastrous generals, thus incurring horrendous numbers of casualties (1,500 per day) yet having few definitive victories to show for it all. This lack of victories put Lincoln's viability as president in question. Atlanta, as the iconic symbol of the South, became the linchpin for his re-election.
On July 22, 1864, opposing commanders McPherson (Union) and Hood (Confederate) managed an eight-hour blood bath that decimated both sides. One out of every five soldiers involved would not answer roll call the next morning. Chief among the Union's shocking losses was the death of McPherson, while the Confederates lost 60 field officers, something from which the South would not recover. The Union was labeled the victor only because the siege held and Atlanta was taken by federal "survivors".