Skip to main content

Dead Wake

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Whatever Erik Larson writes, I am sure to read it.  With his proverbial wit and historical detail, his new book, Dead Wake covers the travels of the Lusitania and the German U-boat that sunk it down.  With a careful handling of the events that took place before and after the Lusitania’s plight, Erik gets into the momentous event and the circumstances surrounding the massive Cunard passenger boat.  You get a behind the scenes look into the captains, the personalities on the ship, including a book dealer and people of some means.

One of the great strengths of the book is Larson’s detailed account of Charles Lauriat, Boston bookseller and collector of rare copies of Dickens and other fine works.  We get the sense that Larson was interested not only in the occupation of Lauriat, but his desire to find the most ornate copies of great author’s works and present them to others for sale.  For Lauriat, this voyage on the Lusitania was as much a business venture for profit as it was for enjoyment on a mighty vessel.

Larson paints a very complete picture of Walther Schwieger as well, the captain of the German U-boat which sunk the Lusitania.  The Lusitania for Schwieger was a prized possession, a boat to put on his record with the others he manned down.  Schwieger was a man of some skill, notching his destructive efforts in a detailed diary that was the glory of his possession.  Schwieger was competent, deft at patrolling the U-boats at his command and careful to jot down every ship he gunned down.

Dead Wake is a wonderful book, Larson gives us a vivid picture of Room 40 and Churchill, and the relationship that German commandeers had with ships coming into their area. 

Thanks to Blogging for Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …