"When the Lusitania went down!"- snippets from lyrics from "When the Lusitania went down" written in 1915
Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy is an informative work that captures multiple points of interest and history regarding the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. At times harrowing and at others a little exhausting but above all fascinating, as this book takes the reader back to a time of a war of nations, empires and acts of human nature and sometimes questionable responses. In the forefront are the details of the last voyage of the RMS Lusitania, the voices of those that boarded and later those that never left her. Above and below the ocean the chapters flow as we continue to follow daily life on the majestic ship and the terror waiting just beneath the waves. Alarm and suspense builds as time slowly moves from April 29, 1915 to the fateful date of May 7, 1915. Passages dedicated to that May afternoon and following days are especially poignant and illustrate everything that could go wrong did in so many ways. Almost a hundred years have passed since that terrible spring day and we still try to explain logically what went so horribly wrong and the reasons why the Lusitania is now resting peacefully at the bottom of the Irish Sea and why we should never forget her story and those brave hearts. The truth is, we may never know all the answers or receive any type of satisfying conclusions to the mysteries of the drama that played out in the background and foreground in 1915.
Although Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy was educational and impressive (especially the chapters concerning the sinking and devastating aftermath) I did notice one or two minor incorrect facts and agree with other readers on a few other negatives they have noted including distracting tangents of topics and an obvious bitter tone toward certain figures involved with the tragedy. I did find the before and after accounts about the typical search of scapegoats, political ambitions, espionage and the obvious company loyalty to the Cunard Line very intriguing and the way the book presents these accounts possibly shows why so many conspiracies and mysteries still surround the Lusitania. I also appreciated the valuable photographs throughout this book that really brought events and voices to reality; especially the pictures of the ship, passengers, crew and political figures. Overall, not exactly an easy read with its broad explanations of historic events, deliberate pacing and tragic details but a part of a true story that needs to be recounted for new and future generations.