Recommended Books and Video about the RMS Titanic
by Jim Sadur
I have received many requests for recommendations of books about the Titanic. There are quite literally hundreds of titles covering all aspects of the Titanic disaster. Most have been published in just the last 10 years. So I have decided to assemble a list of books and video that I feel are important to the study and knowledge of the RMS Titanic.
This list is not meant to be comprehensive or complete. To see a full list of Titanic titles I would suggest my bibliography of Titanic media. Instead this list represents a few titles that I feel are "must reads" for those interesting in learning about history's most famous shipwreck.
I have chosen only titles that are currently in print and have included direct links to AMAZON.COM to help users make purchases. Where possible, I have chosen editions that are the least expensive available. AMAZON provides an excellent service for the secure on-line purchase of discounted books and video.
|A Night Remembered
by Stephanie Barczewski -
Review coming soon.
HAMBLEDON & LONDON Ltd, London
Published 15 April 2004
Hardback, 22 illustrations, 416 pages
Of General Interest
|A Night to Remember
by Walter Lord -
This is The One! After allmost 50 years "A Night to Remember" remains
the finest and most important telling of the Titanic sinking. Walter Lord researched
everything, interviewed survivors and produced the touchstone of all Titanic history. Here
you will learn what really happened. Lord's excellent narrative style tells of the failure
of the crew to avoid the collision, the class system that doomed the steerage passengers
and the heroes and incompetents who made history that night. How the Californian failed to
come to Titanic's aid. Why even with insufficient lifeboats, the crew failed to fill them
to capacity. James Cameron's "Titanic" posed the questions. Here are the
|The Night Lives On
by Walter Lord -
After the discovery of the Titanic wreck by Robert Ballard in 1985, Walter Lord wrote a
followup to "A Night to Remember" including 30 years of new information. A
perfect companion to the original. Includes even more revelations about the Californian as
well as new scientific findings and fascinating stories about the lives of the survivors.
|Titanic: An Illustrated History
by Donald Lynch & Ken Marschall (Illustrator),
Robert D. Ballard (Introduction) -
Don Lynch, the chief historian for James Cameron's "Titanic", has written a
superb history of the Titanic. Including the dramatic paintings of Ken Marschall,
photographs of the era and detailed stories and description, this book is required reading
for every Titaniac. The reader will learn how Titanic was built, what life aboard was like
for every class of passenger, and the drama of the night she sank. The book is rich in its
descriptions of Titanic and her passengers and crew. Also detailed is the aftermath and
the discoveries of the Titanic wreck today. This book would be my favorite gift choice for
Titanic and maritime buffs.
Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)
Starring: Bill Paxton & Dr. John Broadwater
Director: James Cameron
Ghosts of the Abyss:
A Journey Into The Heart of the Titanic
by Don Lynch & Ken Marschall
A great documentary and its companion book give us an updated tour of the present day Titanic and a poignant history of the tragedy.
Academy Award® winning director and master storyteller James Cameron journeys back to the site of his greatest inspiration # the legendary wreck of the Titanic. With a team of the world's foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago. Using state-of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never before. With the most advanced 3D photography, moviegoers will experience the ship as if they are part of the crew, right inside the dive subs. In this unprecedented motion picture event, made especially for IMAX 3D Theatres and specially outfitted 35mm 3D theaters across the country, Cameron and his team bring audiences to sights not seen since the sinking 90 years ago and explore why the landmark vessel # more than any shipwreck # continues to intrigue and fascinate the public.
Book Synopsis (from Publishers Weekly)
The Titanic looks like, well, a wreck in this lavishly illustrated coffee-table companion to Titanic director Cameron's 3-D undersea documentary. Titanic historian Lynch and artist and Titanic buff Marschall recap the story of the ship's doomed maiden voyage, describe the technology and logistics of undersea film-making, and ponder the parallels between the Titanic tragedy and the 9/11 attacks, which occurred during filming ("both events were met with outrage and disbelief-and the tragedies would remain indelibly etched on the collective memory of the world"). But the book's raison d'etre are the photos, and here it runs up against the fact that, unlike architectural ruins, nautical ruins are not very picturesque. Cameron's sonar imaging, lighting rigs and robot cameras yield not much more than visually similar images of gloom and rot, rendered in the deep-sea palette of blue-green and rust washed out by the glare of submarine floodlights. The authors juxtapose archival images of the ship's Edwardian luxury decor and furnishings with photos of their waterlogged remains, and it is here-and in the viewer's imagination-that the pictures become haunting.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
|The Titanic: End of a dream
by Wyn Craig Wade -
Mr. Wade chronicles the Titanic disaster with details from the Senate investigations
and survivor accounts. This book provides a great depth of understanding concerning
Titanic and the aftermath. Of particular importance are descriptions of the class system
and its tragic consequences. Eyewitness testimony give the reader a "you are
there" recollection of Titanic.
|The Discovery of the Titanic
by Robert D. Ballard, Rick Archbold (Contributor),
Ken Marschall (Illustrator) -
Dr. Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute made history in 1985 when
he discovered, surveyed and photographed the sunken wreck of the RMS Titanic. This book
tells the story of his 12 year quest to find Titanic 12,500 feet below the Atlantic Ocean.
Very well written and superbly illustrated, the reader gets a superb "insider"
look at the financing, research, technology and determination required to undertake a
massive undersea exploration. The details of Titanic's last hours and the history since
round out an important chronicle of Titanic then and now.
|Down With the Old Canoe :
A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster
by Steven Biel -
Steven Biel takes a new approach to the Titanic. Instead of discussing the ship itself
and her disaster, he explores the cultural legacy of the Titanic. Almost immediately after
the sinking, people and groups sought to categorize and exploit the Titanic disaster in
their own world view. Politics, music, literature and philosophy were all influenced by
Titanic. The symbolism and metaphors created after 1912 still affect us today. Biel covers
every detail and parts of his prose may seem a bit too scholarly for some readers.
However, for anyone really interested in the total history of the Titanic, this book
provides an important perspective.
|Exploring the Titanic
by Robert D. Ballard -
Dr. Ballard, the discover of the Titanic in 1985 has written an excellent children's
book. Here he describes Titanic as it was and as it is today. A very good introduction to
the Titanic, full of interesting facts and color illustrations.
by Eve Bunting -
Although this is a fictional novel, I recommend it for young adults interested in the
Titanic. It is the story of 15 year-old Barry O'Neill who is traveling on the Titanic to
rejoin his parents after living with his grandparents for 10 years in Ireland. The reader
shares Barry's personal concerns while he meets the many famous real people aboard. Ms.
Bunting gives us an accurate dramatization of the class based life on board and the
sinking itself. Her story telling will inspire young readers to learn more about the RMS
|882 1/2 Amazing Answers to
Your Questions About the Titanic
by Hugh Brewster, Laurie Coulter, Ken Marschall (Illustrator) -
Now that this title is out in an inexpensive paperback, it is worth a look. Covers many
questions and issues in clear, easy to understand answers. Perfect for middle school
students learning about the Titanic. Children can also have fun quizzing each other from
the hundreds of pieces of Titanica.
Other Interesting Titles
|Futility: Or The Wreck of the
by Morgan Robertson, Lee Reeve (Preface) -
English author Morgan Robertson wrote Futility, a fictional story about a collision
between a large trans-Atlantic oceanliner, called The Titan, and an iceberg on her maiden
voyage to New York. Incredibly the story was written in 1893, 19 years before the RMS
Titanic sailed. This edition, the 100th anniversary, has an interesting preface about
Robertson and his foretelling.
|Story of the Titanic As Told by
by Jack Winocour (Editor) -
This is an interesting compilation of four eyewitness accounts of the sinking of the
Titanic. Telling their story are Lawrence Beesley, Col. Archibold Gracie, Second Officer
Charles Lightoller and Marconi Operator Harold Bride. Very compelling and detailed, only
survivors can really describe what happened that night.
|The Complete Titanic :
From the Ship's Earliest Blueprints to the Epic Film
by Stephen J. Spignesi -
A detailed, wide ranging collection of information and documents on the RMS Titanic.
Many old and new tidbits are covered including behind-the-scenes stories of Cameron's
film. I would recommend this book as both and introduction and reference for those who
can't get enough about the Titanic.
|Titanic - The Complete Story
A&E Home Video
VHS Edition - DVD Edition
Many Titanic documentaries have been made in the recent years and all have something to
offer. This is the updated and enhanced version of the 1994 production. It is probably the
most complete and fascinating film history about the Titanic. Included are archival photos
and movie clips, interviews with experts and survivors and a detailed and coherent script.
This is a "must see" for every Titanic enthusiast.
|Secrets of the Titanic
VHS Edition - DVD Edition
Secrets of the Titanic tells the story of the events leading up to the sinking using footage and photographs from the doomed maiden voyage and then follows the luckier Dr. Ballard through the steps leading to his discovery in 1986. As usual for National Geographic, the photography is excellent, even within the cramped confines of the tiny Alvin. The DVD edition contains featurettes, extra maps and photographs as well as interactive quizzes about the Titanic.
Written and directed by Nicolas Noxon
Narrated by Martin Sheen
Theatrical Release Date: January 1, 1986
DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
Run Time: 70 minutes
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