This year is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the "RMS Titanic". Many books are being published to mark the anniversary, and this one, "The Titanic for Dummies", by Stephen Spignesi, is a fun book for the casual reader, interested in the basics of the disaster.
There are many "Titanic" experts who pour over every book written on the subject. This book is not for them. Instead, it gives the "basics" of the sinking - iceberg meets ship. The author delves into the behind-the-scenes details, from the development and building of the ship, to its design and claim to be "unsinkable", to the three levels on the ship, First Class, Second Class, and Steerage. Curiously, for all that I've read about "Titanic", most emphasis has been on the First Class cabins and passengers, and the Steerage cabins and passengers. Second Class seems to be ignored in many books, and this book actually showed a cabin in Second Class and gives other details of that ignored group of passengers.
Also delved into are the "politics" of the ship. Who built it, who designed it, and who steered it into that iceberg. And who went down with the ship. The tragic lack of lifeboats and the mishandling of many of the life boats the ship actually had, meant that fewer passengers survived than could have had the management of the boats been handled better by the crew. What happened after the "Titanic" sunk? Spignesi writes of the many ships in the area who had picked up the "Titanic's" distress calls, rushing to the scene but arriving to late to do anything but pick up the survivors in the life boats. He also tells of the many investigations, both in the US and the UK, which tried to parcel out blame for the sinking and suggest ways to prevent another tragedy. Like: have as many life boats needed for both passengers and crew.
"Dummies" is a quick read, a book that actually doesn't have to be read in one sitting. In fact, the author advises against reading it that way. I see it as a treat for that reader who wants to know a little about a very interesting topic.