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"Larson is one of the best narrative historians and this book brings the tragedy of the sinking of the liner Lusitania home in compelling ways. He keeps a tally of who is who in this drama and fills the pages with important details, from Captain Turner, the flawed and quietly brave commander of the doomed ship, to Captain Schweiger, the U boat commander who killed so many. There is also an insight into the common passengers and the variety of lives that were being led - from families to individual people - before the destruction of the ship. Larson includes detail illustrating why the British Admiralty was so keen on blaming Captain Turner for the sinking - it turns out that they had their own secrets to keep. Contrary to popular belief, the sinking of the Lusitania did not draw America into the conflict in Europe - that would take another two years and an invertebrate telegram sent to the Mexican embassy. This is a detailed and informative read that is unforgettable."— Raul
“Despite knowing how the doomed Lusitania’s story ultimately ends, the tense build up to the big event is fantastic. The alternating story lines and points of view – the passengers & crew, the German U-boat captain, President Woodrow Wilson, British code breakers & Admiralty, and major events on the European front – finally all tragically and dramatically converge. It’s really astounding how a sequence of small, some seemingly insignificant, events potentially led to the ship’s doom. There is so much ground to cover and Larson covers the bulk of it with a quick storytelling pace and emotional punch. A page turner!”— Ellen
“With the taut storytelling form that is Larson's trademark, Dead Wake recounts the tragedy of the sinking of the passenger ocean liner Lusitania. The torpedoing of a passenger liner by a German submarine shocked and horrified the world and served to mobilize American popular opinion in favor of entering World War I. Larson carefully sets the stage for the tragedy, and with dramatic effect recreates the tension of the chase, the horror of the attack, and the tragic aftermath. Dead Wake pulls the reader in and evokes a visceral response of outrage and sadness -- the same response most Americans had upon first hearing the news in 1915.”
— Jon Grand, The Book Stall At Chestnut, Winnetka, IL