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Return to "Titanic" [Hardcover]

Robert D. Ballard , Michael Sweeney
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Oct 2004
Almost twenty years after making the world's most famous underwater discovery, Robert Ballard returns to Titanic with hi-tech cameras and robots to provide the clearest, most dramatic images ever seen. Ballard documents what has become of the world's best-known ship, torn apart by salvagers over the last 2 decades, and pronounces a new and vital conservation ethos - that future such wrecks must be preserved as historical monuments. This compelling, illustrated book is a journey back in time to the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912; a hard look at the present salvaging and natural deterioration of the wreck; and a blueprint for future conservation of this icon. Says Ballard, "every possible book has been written on the Titanic, and Titanic addicts have them all. They will not have this." RETURN TO TITANIC brings new dimension, visually and factually. First, the incomparable hi-tech cameras Ballard created to document wrecks on the Mediterranean seafloor in summer 2003 will be used to reveal the changes in Titanic since the first images were made by National Geographic in 1985. Second, he will analyze the salvaging of the wreck by private groups, as well as the natural deterioration since 1985; finally he will establish the global conservation ethos that this and other wrecks be revered as "pyramids of the deep," rather than ransacked. TITANIC has 5 chapters in 192 pages, with 125 images, diagrams, and maps. Images will include period pictures and drawings from the early 1900s, pictures of the 1985 discovery of the wreck, and modern images, culminating in the hi-tech images of the June 2004 expedition. Sweeney's deft hand combines with Ballard's own intriguing story of discovery, his masterminding of robots and hi-definition cameras to document the wreck, and his commitment to conservation in the 21st century. The human element plays a big part in RETURN TO TITANIC, as Ballard and Sweeney clarify that technology and conservation are but means to preserving the spirits of the humans lost in the tragedy. Sidebars throughout, identify the artifacts of survivors, such as letters, watches, clothing, and tell their stories.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books (30 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792272889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792272885
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 20.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Titanic 21 Dec 2005
Format:Hardcover
The original discoverer of the wreck returns for one last time to see what effect the last 18 years of deterioration and countless dives (and silly salvage attempts) have had on the ship. As with all NGS publications, it is an excellently presented book,a lavishly illustrated record and very informative. Whatever you think of the whys and wherefores of the controversies surrounding saving the ship, Bob Ballard is the man who discovered the ship and as such, makes a strong case that we should now show some respect to the memory of the 1500 who died and now we have seen all that we are realistically going to see, we should leave the wreck to decay in peace.
Anyone who has an interest in Titanic or marine archaeology should get this book
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile addition to the Titanic story 16 Feb 2006
By MrMic
Format:Hardcover
Like many people, I first became interested in the work of Dr Robert Ballard when he found international recognition as part of the joint US-French expedition to locate the wreck of the Titanic in September 1985. Since this discovery, the once great ship has been visited by numerous expeditions which have served to systematically remove many of the artifacts from the site. It is this argument - whether we should salvage these artifacts now before they are lost to the sea forever or leave the site untouched as a memorial to the 1500+ people who died in April 1912 - that forms one of the central themes of this book.
Having provided an extensive photographic record of the ship in 1986, Dr Ballard’s return to the wreck site 18 years later provides him with a valuable opportunity to re-assess the current condition of the once great liner and provide a new insight into the deterioration - both natural and man-made - that has occurred in the intervening years. By looking at the past-present-future of the Titanic story and placing this in it’s proper historical and scientific context, this book takes into account many aspects that still interest people today. Subsequently, this book succeeds in providing an excellent foundation for people who are either captivated by Titanic or for those who possess an interest in underwater exploration in general. Moreover, it surpasses other works on the subject by the use of breathtaking images taken with a clarity that bears tribute to the technological advances that have occurred since it’s discovery, providing unmistakable evidence that the numerous visits by expeditions since 1986 have failed to treat the site with proper respect.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've a lot to thank Dr Robert Ballard for, after all, he headed up the team which discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985 but it was his book, Exploring the Titanic which sparked my interest in the great ship and its tragic tale when I received it as a Christmas present in 1987.

Seeing the positive reviews on Amazon I had high hopes that this publication would provide an interesting update on how she has fared in the nineteen years between her discovery and an exploration to revisit her in 2004, however when I received the book I was immediately disappointed by the lack of modern pictures. Dr Ballard spends many pages talking up his idea of `telepresence' allowing remotely operated vehicles to explore the wreck without risking human lives in submersibles and goes on to explain how US oceanography students can see live high resolution pictures and even control the ROVs. While that's lucky for them, being a non-US oceanography student I would like to see more images of the Titanic's current condition myself and while Ballard talks, he doesn't deliver.

The book also feels padded with too much depth on technical operations, survey ship layouts, naming of exploration crew, support personnel, and technical companies plus descriptions of weather conditions, technical problems and other information that may be of interest to students of underwater exploration but becomes wearying when one has purchased the book for further reading about the Titanic itself. Dr Ballard also hammers home his views on salvage but he seems to come across as almost believing that he alone has the right to visit the ship on the sea floor while nobody else does.

What should have been an interesting subject is a dull read unfortunately.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish reader from Limerick, 28 Feb 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book with new up to date photographs of the wreck, wonderful read for all fans of the story of titanic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for the enthusiast. 8 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this book for a history buff/enthusiast, who has a great interest in the story of the Titanic. He was very pleased with this present.
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