From the Blog

  • A Stairway to Heaven, and Back

    November 5, 2015

      Whenever I publish a book, I invariably find that it ends up accompanied to market by a memoir written by an author who claims to have gone to heaven and returned. These books are very popular, so much so that there is now a name for the genre: “heaven tourism.” At one point last […]

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From Flickr

Dead Wake

The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.