Shipwreck: The Strange Fate of the Morro Castle

Open Road Media
3
Free sample

This Edgar Award Finalist by two New York Times–bestselling authors provides an “exciting” account of the devastating and mysterious cruise ship fire (The Washington Post).

In the early morning hours of September 8, 1934, the luxury cruise liner Morro Castle, carrying 316 passengers and 230 officers and crew, caught fire a few hours out of the New York harbor on a return voyage from Havana. The fire spread with terrifying swiftness, transforming the ship into a blazing inferno. One hundred thirty-four people died that night—was it an accident?
 
Writers Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts prove that the disaster was no accident, but was planned, meticulously and deliberately, by an officer of the Morro Castle. His name: George White Rogers, chief radio officer. They also prove that Rogers was responsible for the death of the captain, who was poisoned several hours before the fire broke out.
 
Shipwreck is a spellbinding moment-by-moment account of the Morro Castle’s last voyage, and one of the most spectacular disasters to stir the Atlantic Ocean. Through interviews with survivors, rescuers, and investigators, the authors detail a desperate investigation and the search for a mass murderer. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the buildup of World War II, Shipwreck is a sweeping tale of personal heroism, tragedy, and murder.
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About the author

Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts are authors of four previous books, all highly successful in bookstores and book clubs, all acclaimed in the United States and abroad. The Day the World Ended and Voyage of the Damned were made into major motion pictures; Shipwreck won the Edgar Award in 1973; and The San Francisco Earthquake has been hailed as a major achievement of reporting and writing.
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4.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jul 1, 2014
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Pages
299
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ISBN
9781497658929
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Maritime History & Piracy
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “GRIPPING…THIS YARN HAS IT ALL.” —USA TODAY * “A WONDERFUL BOOK.” —Christian Science Monitor * “ENTHRALLING.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) * “A MUST-READ.” —Booklist (starred review)

A human drama unlike any other—the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history.

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the Philippine Sea when she is sunk by two Japanese torpedoes. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, nearly nine hundred men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.

For the first time Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own in “a wonderful book…that features grievous mistakes, extraordinary courage, unimaginable horror, and a cover-up…as complete an account of this tragic tale as we are likely to have” (The Christian Science Monitor). It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and continues through World War II, when the ship embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima.

“Simply outstanding…Indianapolis is a must-read…a tour de force of true human drama” (Booklist, starred review) that goes beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle the survivors’ fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. “Enthralling…A gripping study of the greatest sea disaster in the history of the US Navy and its aftermath” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative—and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life. “Vincent and Vladic have delivered an account that stands out through its crisp writing and superb research…Indianapolis is sure to hold its own for a long time” (USA TODAY).
The “extraordinary” true story of the St. Louis, a German ship that, in 1939, carried Jews away from Hamburg—and into an unimaginable ordeal (The New York Times).

On May 13, 1939, the luxury liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted. Aboard were 937 Jews—some had already been in concentration camps—who believed they had bought visas to enter Cuba. The voyage of the damned had begun.

Before the St. Louis was halfway across the Atlantic, a power struggle ensued between the corrupt Cuban immigration minister who issued the visas and his superior, President Bru. The outcome: The refugees would not be allowed to land in Cuba.

In America, the Brown Shirts were holding Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden; anti-Semitic Father Coughlin had an audience of fifteen million. Back in Germany, plans were being laid to implement the final solution. And aboard the St. Louis, 937 refugees awaited the decision that would determine their fate.

Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts have re-created history in this meticulous reconstruction of the voyage of the St. Louis. Every word of their account is true: the German High Command’s ulterior motive in granting permission for the “mission of mercy;” the confrontations between the refugees and the German crewmen; the suicide attempts among the passengers; and the attitudes of those who might have averted the catastrophe, but didn’t.

In reviewing the work, the New York Times was unequivocal: “An extraordinary human document and a suspense story that is hard to put down. But it is more than that. It is a modern allegory, in which the SS St. Louis becomes a symbol of the SS Planet Earth. In this larger sense the book serves a greater purpose than mere drama.”
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