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April 25 , 2009

An Unsinkable Titanic


Published three months after the sinking of the Titanic, this is the rarest and the most learned of the early books on the disaster. In it, the crusading editor of the Scientific American magazine shows that passenger safety had been repeatedly sacrificed in the competition for luxury and speed between the great shipping lines, and that the Titanic was much less safe than the Great Eastern, a liner launched more than 50 years previously. Here you'll find the first published explanation of why the Titanic’s low bulkheads were insufficient to stop the flooding, how more lifeboats could easily have been carried on deck, and even why the unusual transverse arrangement of the boilers needed fewer stokers but ultimately cost more lives. Walker uses ship photographs and marine diagrams to show that an unsinkable Titanic – able to stay afloat long enough for all her passengers to be safely rescued – was indeed possible, if only the public would demand it.

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