In this expertly written account, Matsen (Descent) does what would seem impossible: he tells us something new about the Titanic disaster. In August of 2005, a team using Mir submersibles found previously undiscovered wreckage from the ship on the ocean floor. The wreckage suggested that the Titanic had not sunk with the bow rising into the air. Instead the ship had broken in half while almost horizontal and gone down before most of the passengers knew what was happening. The discovery directs Matsen’s retelling of theTitanic story, beginning with events that led to the creation of the giant ocean liner. Matsen is an engaging writer and has smoothly incorporated massive amounts of research. —From Publishers Weekly

An experienced writer on maritime subjects chronicles the further adventures of John Chatterton and Richie Kohler (see Robert Kurson’s Shadow Divers, 2004). Now distinguished underwater archaeologists, they investigate a novel theory about why the Titanic sank so rapidly. With the help of dives on the wreck and several experts on the ship and her fate, they bolster suspicions that it and its sibling liners were structurally weak, too large for the standard shipbuilding techniques of the day. Whether they wholly convince the reader, their research is impressively thorough and their prose clear. Furthermore, they offer vivid accounts of the golden age of shipbuilding, of relations among the three men (Lord Pirrie, Bruce Ismay, and Thomas Andrews) who created the Titanic and sealed her doom, and of the pleasures and perils of underwater archaeology. Those who pick this up in anticipation of the centennial of the sinking should be enthralled. —Roland Green, Booklink


3 Responses to “Titanic’s Last Secrets”

  1. 1 Ron Dalby October 12, 2010 at 1:34 pm


    Long time no see. Just picked up a copy of Titanic’s Last Secrets and can’t put it down. Great piece of work.

    All the best, Ron Dalby

  2. 2 melanie Adkins July 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Loved the book but curious how I can see and get a copy of the editorial cartoon with Neptune spearing the Titanic on his trident. I’ve never seen it before and would love to. Thank you.

  3. 3 Daniella October 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Im just watching you on C-span2TV. Its so interesting to hear the details of the investigation of the Titanic. Ive ordered the book and cant wait to read it.

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