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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Of course, Dr Robert Ballard will forever remain the man who found the Titanic, but in this book he also provides the reader with an extremely well documented account of the loss of the Lusitania.
Mysteries are mysteries and whilst there are those experts which insist such and such happened, there will also be those who assert the opposite. I shouldn't say this I know, but it the way in which Bob Ballard takes such a thorough approach to his subject, it leaves one feeling that the only book you need to read on the entire subject of the loss of the Lusitania is this one.
Exploring the Lusitania - yet another four-funnelled passenger liner built before WW1, is a large coffee-table book approx. A4 size. Just a glance at the pictures throughout the richly illustrated pages (227 altogether) reveals the extent of the research to which the author has gone on behalf of the reader. There are many historic pictures of the ship itself - including when she was no more than a keel. Others include paintings of the day, newspaper cuttings and postcards showing internal and external views. Then there are the photographs of the tragedy itself and the effect it had upon the people of Ireland. Photographs of seemingly unimportant people at the booking office and individuals such as the Captain. Dr Ballard has been equally thorough when it comes to detailing the U-Boat which sank the Lusitania and we are treated to almost the same level of coverage of vessel and individuals and their trade of war.
Once again, however, the author has put together the most outstanding collection of artwork created by Ken Marschall. From thousands of photographic images taken from the wreckage itself, Bob Ballard created a complete montage (i.e. a big photograph made up of thousands of little photographs) of the various sections of the wreck so that Mr Marschall was able to provide us with the most accurate paintings of various sections and even the entire wreck. The one painting I had to look at again and again was the painting of the sinking across pages 96/97. For a moment there I thought the world's greatest photographer had been on hand to capture the event.
I congratulate Dr Ballard on another excellent and professional job of work. Another outstanding book and yet again 5 stars are not enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unlike the wreck of the Titanic, that of the Lusitania is in relatively shallow (about 90 metres or 300 feet) waters off the Irish coast. Once located, the dives were relatively easy for someone with his experience of diving on other large wrecks.

The book's title may lead the reader to believe that its prime coverage would be related to his dives, the subject of several TV series over many years. In fact only about 50 of its 200-plus pages are related to the dives and the remainder is historical, replicated from other sources and much often available elsewhere. A few rarely seen photographs and some probably commissioned illustrations fill the gaps.

Ballard may have had some preconceptions, or accepted without reason or proof the beliefs of others, and thus may have been blinkered when examining the wreck and analysing available evidence. Errors and omissions resulted and the viewing, and now reading, public were misled.

This is a coffee-table-size book lavishly illustrated with some of Ballard's photography and much from the time when Lusitania was sailing the Atlantic. It is not exclusively about the ship's sinking, locating and diving on its wreck or those who were lost - some were saved - but includes all of those and much, much more. It is a thoroughly interesting book to read, partly because of its human stories. However, in Ballard's TV documentaries, certain 'facts' were included based upon isolated scattering of some of its coal, and they were widely accepted. Ballard over-stated the facts and there was far too little coal surrounding the wreck for Ballard's conclusions to be correct. That error is repeated here. Ballard also failed to check, analyse and comprehend certain available data which later authors accessed and analysed that, had he done so, he may have better understood why the disaster was as dramatic as it was and why the sinking was so unexpectedly rapid - it was thought that it may stay afloat for more than two hours (as managed by the Titanic with far more extensive physical damage) but sank within 18 minutes of the torpedo strike. It is also possible that Ballard may have deliberately avoided the uncomfortable truths to preserve the old controversy.

If read without knowing the more thoroughly researched work of other writers, it would appear to be a perfectly acceptable effort. But with the evidence that others provide and which Ballard failed either to find or to correctly research and interpret, it suffers by comparison.

Originally published almost 20 years ago and probably no longer in print, I was able to find a used copy for a fraction of its original cover price which was as good as fresh off the shelf. However, its title is misleading and too little of its contents is truly original. It is therefore a disappointment.
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on 11 October 2015
Having read Ballards three other books, Titanic, Bismark and Guadalcanal I purchased this one and was not disappointed. Enjoyable and informative bringing history to life.
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on 6 September 2013
Once of the best written, and most comprehensive, illustrated "coffee table" type books on the Lusitania.
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on 28 September 2014
Brilliant....very,very well researched and brilliantly illustrated ! An amazing book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2011
Always curious about the sinking of this four funnelled liner after reading 'titanic an illustrated history', i was drawn into the Lusitania tragedy. With contributions from Robert Ballard this book is a must if you have read 'titanic an illustrated history', another of Ballard's works. I found 'Exploring the Lusitania' just as fascinating with more wonderful detailed painitings of the ship and the sinking by the brilliant artist Ken Marshall. Exploring the Lusitania i thought was a wonderful accompaniment to the book 'Titanic an illustrated history',and covers all the same topics from construction, her life as a trans-atlantic liner, and her final end and then the wreck itself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2011
I purchased this book to complete my collection of books by Robert Ballard. I bought the book for 1p which is an absolute steal !! Loved it !!
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on 25 December 2014
Great book
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