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Three decades after his landmark work A Night to Remember, Walter Lord revisits the Titanic

Years after A Night to Remember stoked the fires of public interest in the doomed RMS Titanic, the clamor for details about April 14, 1912, has not abated. As die-hard professional and amateur historians—“rivet counters,” they are called—puzzle over minute details of the ship’s last hours, a wealth of facts and myth have emerged. Revisiting the subject more than thirty years after his first study, Lord dives into this harrowing story, whose power to intrigue has only grown a century after the Titanic’s sinking.

Was the ship really christened before setting sail on its maiden voyage? What song did the band play as water spilled over the ship’s bow? How did the ship’s wireless operators fail so badly, and why did the nearby Californian, just ten miles away when the Titanic struck the iceberg, not come to the rescue? Lord answers these questions and more, in a gripping investigation of the night when 1,500 victims were lost to the sea.

ABOUT Walter Lord

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Walter Lord (1917–2002) was an acclaimed and bestselling author of literary nonfiction best known for his gripping and meticulously researched accounts of watershed historical events. Born in Baltimore, Lord went to work for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. After the war’s end, Lord joined a New York advertising firm, and began writing nonfiction in his spare time. His first book was The Fremantle Diary (1954), a volume of Civil War diaries that became a surprising success. But it was Lord’s next book, A Night to Remember (1955), that made him famous. The bestseller caused a new flurry of interest in the Titanic and inspired the 1958 film of the same name. Lord went on to use the book’s interview-heavy format as a template for most of his following works, which included detailed reconstructions of the Pearl Harbor attack in Day of Infamy (1957), the battle of Midway in Incredible Victory (1967), and the integration of the University of Mississippi in The Past That Would Not Die (1965). In all, he published a dozen books.

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