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A clever look at society's reaction to Titanic's sinking
on 9 June 1998
This is one of the few Titanic books currently in print which does more than rehash the same old sinking story. Instead, it looks at the reaction of society to the greatest marine tragedy of all time.
The success of Biel's book hinges on his meticulous research and thorough reporting of his findings. One chapter examines how the New York press reported the tragedy in the days following the sinking. Many authors are content to re-state what the New York Times said (accurately reporting that the ship had sunk), and what the New York Sun said (inaccurately reporting "All Saved From Titanic After Collision"). Biel digs deeper, and presents a range of reactions that vary from honest, dedicated journalism to wild speculation.
Biel's also examines how the Titanic affects us to this day. His analysis of Titanic movies such as "A Night to Remember", "Titanic" (1953), and "Raise the Titanic" give the reader a new perspective on these often-overlooked films. More than cinematic re-tellings of the sinking, they reveal the feelings and values of the people who made them.
Although it is not the most exciting of novels, it is a brave work that, like prospectors looking for gold, successfully finds new material in a world of tired, re-hashed, and looked-over facts.