Cover image for The Titanic story : hard choices, dangerous decisions
The Titanic story : hard choices, dangerous decisions
Cox, Stephen D., 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : Open Court Pub., [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 152 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G530.T6 C69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
G530.T6 C69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
G530.T6 C69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The tragedy of the Titanic continues to fascinate readers and filmgoers. Author Stephen Cox maintains that the true stories of those onboard are even more compelling than the fictionalized tale told in James Cameron's box-office smash. Cox retells the real story in human terms, by focusing on a few individuals. Through these survivors' firsthand accounts, he uncovers the fatal decisions that underlay the events.

Author Notes

Stephen Cox is Professor of Literature and Director of the Humanities Program at the University of California, San Diego.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Cox dissects the actions of Bruce Ismay, director of the White Star Line, which built and maintained the Titanic, on the fateful night of its sinking. The image of Ismay climbing into a lifeboat and rowing away with his back to the sinking vessel is just one of the lasting, eerie memories portrayed here. Cox has taken the court testimony of passengers, sailors, even a ship's cook, and helped put a human face on the survivors of the wreck; unfortunately, some of those faces would be distasteful to look at, considering the actions of their owners. Cox regales us with tales of the lifeboats and the human struggle going on aboard as some payoffs were made and some boats skedaddled from the site of the sinking ship with all due speed, while many floundered about in the freezing water. Cox has the necessary scorn for Ismay and others whose actions were less than heroic, and his critic's approach to the affair reveals that the event truly did change people's lives. --Joe Collins

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. x
Introduction: The Great Storyp. xi
Chapter 1 "There Is No Time to Waste"p. 1
Eyewitness Testimony: Emily Borie Ryersonp. 14
Chapter 2 "He Ought to Have Gone Down with the Ship"p. 19
Eyewitness Testimony: Daniel Buckleyp. 29
Chapter 3 "Exercise Your Own Common Sense"p. 33
Eyewitness Testimony: George Moorep. 40
Eyewitness Testimony: Frederick Barrettp. 42
Chapter 4 "Well, Boys, Do Your Best"p. 45
Eyewitness Testimony: Olaus Abelsethp. 54
Chapter 5 "Make Your Ship as Unsinkable as You Can"p. 61
Eyewitness Testimony: Mrs. J. Stuart Whitep. 68
Eyewitness Testimony: Thomas Jonesp. 71
Chapter 6 "It Would Have Been Outrageously Bad Seamanship"p. 73
Eyewitness Testimony: John Collinsp. 81
Chapter 7 "I Knew It Was My Duty"p. 85
Eyewitness Testimony: Charles Joughinp. 88
Chapter 8 "What Was It You Were Afraid Of?"p. 91
Eyewitness Testimony: Daisy Minahanp. 103
Chapter 9 "Spectators of a Drama"p. 105
Eyewitness Testimony: Colonel Archibald Graciep. 119
Eyewitness Testimony: Second Officer Charles Lightollerp. 121
Chapter 10 "He Was Never the Same Again"p. 123
Notesp. 129
Bibliography: The Titanic Story in Other Booksp. 139
Indexp. 149