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The Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy


Bringing a forgotten maritime disaster to life, this is the story of the sinking of the Eastland, a bold and breathtaking steamship that capsized ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Sinking of the Eastland: America's Forgotten Tragedy

Overall customer rating: 5.000

A profoundly moving and distrubing book

by DanaPierson on Aug 13, 2008

Just three years after the Titanic sank, another disaster involving a pleasure craft occurred - but only a few people remember it. The Eastland was a busy charter pleasure craft that once was a queen of Lake Michigan. But on July 24, 1915, nearly 2,000 Western Electric employees boarded her for their annual company picnic. They expected a fun-filled, care-free day of adventure on the lake. But, tragically, despite the best efforts of inspectors to have the ship's fatal flaws addressed, nearly 900 people died when the Eastland overturned-within sight of her dock in the Chicago River. Bonansinga's heartbreaking and detailed account of this forgotten event is a must read for anyone with a love of history-and the truth. This fascinating nonfiction work delves into the disaster from every angle, including the frantic attempts by authorities to make the ship safer, the tragic day when so many lost their lives so needlessly, and (in this reviewer's opinion), the even-more horrifying chain of events in which the ship's owners, insurers, and Chicago's elite did their best to bury what really happened. It's a powerful read, one that will leave you shaking your head at just how a few powerful people can impact the lives of the powerless. I've read this four times now, have given copies as gifts, and it my favorite work by a favorite author. Bonansinga may be better known for his wonderfully crafted thriller titles (Frozen, Twisted, The Killer's Game , and more). But it is this tale, one crafted from a tragic, embarrassing, and preventable event in America's history that is ultimately the most disturbing of his impressive canon. (And now, every time I watch the shiny spectacle that is The Oprah Show, I cannot escape the knowledge that her studio once was called into service as the temporary morgue for the Eastland's victims. I wish Oprah would do a show on the Eastland (and invite the author in to tell his tale). It's a dark day in Chicago's history, but one that deserves its moment in the intensity of her supernova light.) READ THIS BOOK - and share it with your friends. The memories of the people who perished no needlessly cry out in despair that their lives - and deaths - were so effectively shrouded from our collective memory. Bonansinga rights that wrong, and this book will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

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