Titanic: 'Iceberg Ahead' (Hardback)
The Story of the Disaster By Some of those Who Were There
To have sailed on ‘the voyage of the century’ aboard White Star Line’s RMS Titanic – described at the time as ‘a floating palace’ – was like being one of the first passengers to fly on Concorde.
On 10 April 1912, people from all walks of life began embarking on Titanic, then the largest ship afloat, for what was to be the trip of a lifetime on the ship’s maiden voyage across the north Atlantic. Many were looking forward to starting new lives in the United States.
However, just before midnight on Sunday, 14 April 1912, Titanic’s crew began to send out distress signals stating, ‘We have struck an iceberg’. The liner had been steaming at speed when it collided with an enormous iceberg which stripped off her bilge under the waterline for more than 100 yards, opened up five of the front compartments and flooded the coal bunker servicing one of the boilers.
The damage was fatal, and some three hours after the disaster began to unfold the last visible part of Titanic slipped beneath the waves. There were only sixteen lifeboats and four collapsible dinghies – which was completely insufficient for the number of passengers making the crossing. As a consequence, more than 1,500 passengers and crew died: two out of every three people onboard perished.
Much has been written about the Titanic disaster, and it has been the subject matter for several films. The author is well-known for his depth of research and his attention to detail, and in a new style of format, he has selected fifty people involved in the disaster, and by using their specific eyewitness accounts he has managed to make the confusing situation much clearer, making it possible for the reader to experience the dreadful events as they unfolded. The book also includes biographical tributes to the fifty people, who came from all walks of life and geographical regions, telling who they were, their experiences during the disaster, and what happened to those who were fortunate enough to survive.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Katie Martin
I love all things Titanic so I was so excited to pick this book up! And it did not disappoint! It selects a cast of characters and tells the story of the accident from their points of view. It was such a fascinating and unique way to read about this event!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Jennifer DiCenzo
Wow! What research must have gone into this book! It is amazingly different than any other book I have read on Titanic. The writing is superb and the seamless way the author put together over 50 accounts of the disaster make it one of my top reads of the year!
The Titanic and its descend has interested me from a very young age. James Bancroft did exceptional research and gave both events that were complied through biographies of those aboard and also through the words of passengers. This book really pulled me in, while also pulling at my heart strings. It was both fascinating and extremely emotional to hear stories of those who were actually aboard the Titanic and about their lives. It made the tragedy that much more real for me. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in the sinking of the Titanic or shipwrecks in general.NetGalley, Stevie Radzinski
The book also includes biographical tributes to the fifty people, who came from all walks of life, telling who they were, their experiences during the disaster, and what happened to those who were fortunate enough to survive. I would recommend it to our readers.Shipping Today and Yesterday Magazine
A unique and impressively effective approach to an historical study of the Titanic disaster, "Titanic - 'Iceberg Ahead': The Story of the Disaster By Some of Those Who Were There" is an extraordinarily informative and highly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college and university library Maritime History collections.Midwest Book Review
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The story of the Titanic is rather similar to the story of the assassination of JFK, in that everyone knows about the story, but there is still a keen fascination to re-read the story and to hopefully find out more snippets of the story that might give more of a clue. So it tends to be that most books on this subject will be the core same thing but at a different slant in order to make it different from the others. This book looks at the various accounts of those who survived this disaster. A fantastic and interesting look at the many reasons and thoughts about what was happening and what transpired during the event. This is a very readable, interesting view’s and it’s been a good read, certainly one to recommend.UK Historian
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The beauty of this work is that Mr Bancroft has put a sterling effort into his research of the real people on board this tragedy suburb pen pictures of their lives and their experiences on the Titanic. Well written well researched and well received what else can I say?Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)
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Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Dee Arr
I found this book by author James W. Bancroft interesting. My previous knowledge of the Titanic disaster was probably slightly better than most, but only enough to recall some of the highlights of what happened.
Mr. Bancroft related many anecdotes, and the majority of the book tells the story through the eyes of the people who were there. I discovered many interesting facts (such as the amazing number of mail sacks on board, or why the Titanic had four funnels rather than only the three it required…and I was not aware of the fire going on the whole time) concerning both the ship itself and its passengers and crew.
The subtitle – “The Story of the Disaster by Some of Those Who Were There” – continues into Part II of the book. While Part I tells the story of the Titanic, much of it through letters and quotes and individual remembrances, the second part delves into the history of these same folks, from birth to death. While I thought this section would be boring (who wants to learn about a bunch of folks whose claim to fame is being part of a disaster) I quickly discovered what a loss that would have been to my full enjoyment of the book. There were many interesting stories, such as a survivor’s granddaughter achieving international fame in figure skating. Remember that scene from James Cameron’s movie “Titanic” when Leonardo DiCaprio is gambling everything he owns against two tickets on the Titanic? That scene has some truth surrounding it.
Mr. Bancroft provides an extensive bibliography and there are some interesting pictures at the end of the book. For serious students of the Titanic disaster, there may be some tidbits included. For those of you like me who only have a passing knowledge of what happened, this book is a quick read presented in a manner that kept me turning page after page. Five stars.
I am always looking for new information regarding the tragedy of the Titanic, and Titanic ‘Iceberg Ahead’ provided this for me as a reader. By using the words and accounts of those who were actually there, it made the tragedy feel even more real. This really was such a horrible human tragedy. So many lives lost, so many lives changed forever. I really enjoyed learning more about the actual individuals who were on the ship. It was interesting to learn more about some of the passengers and crew – some of whom were only there by chance!NetGalley, Allison Lamphere
More than a century later, the interest in the Titanic and its fateful maiden voyage is still keen. There has been much written and several movies have been made about the events.. Quite a few of the people onboard have transcended into fame from the various iterations. This book takes yet another look at many of the people onboard. Where it differs from most of the other books is the detail into the lives of many characters whom history would not remember but for their presence during the catastrophe.NetGalley, Susan Johnston
While it does look at a few of the First Class passengers, it tends to look at those who thus far, may have been overlooked. It looks at passengers and crew as it goes into deep detail into their lives before Titanic and if they survived, how their lives transpired in the aftermath. If they perished, there is a note of whether they were identified and what became of those they left behind. While it is written in a straightforward style, the pathos of the lives Titanic touched still seeps through. Perhaps none is more poignant than the lives of the crew members who survived and had to live with the memories.
All in all, this was a good book, full of factual information about these poor people and a worthy addition to my knowledge base.NetGalley, Monica Mac
4 stars from me.
The Titanic has always interested me, as it’s such a massive tragedy that could have been avoided with proper protocols in place. I liked the approach of the book to explore the events of the sinking through the eyes of those who experienced it, as well as shine a light on many of the lesser known passengers, both casualties and survivors, to get a deeper look beyond the pop-culture appearances the ship has made, such as in the 1997 film. It’s a must-read for any fascinated with the disaster.NetGalley, Courtney Tonokawa
When I first learned about the Titanic in 4th grade, it captured my attention. I became hooked on history. A few months later, the wreck was discovered. Then I ordered a book (Discovering the Titanic) from a Scholastic book order, which I still have. I pored over this book over and over and over, eventually finding more books to supplement my addiction. (I did not like the 1997 movie.) My interest was piqued by this new book, but was there really anything new to learn about the Titanic?NetGalley, Audrey Hammer
Yes! I was pleasantly surprised. The first half of the book is a timeline of the disaster, pieced together through multiple witness accounts. Quite a few of these accounts I had never seen before. It started with the ship’s construction and concluded with the Carpathia rescue and initial reports. It really brought the disaster to life.
The second half provides a brief biography of many of the passengers (some survivors, some victims). This included parents’ names and birth dates and places—information less interesting to read through. Some people had really interesting lives that would make good biographies on their own.
Overall, it’s a nice addition to the collective history of the Titanic.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Leslie Hartman
I love anything having to do with Titanic, so when I saw Titanic: Iceberg Ahead, I knew I had to read it. In Titanic: Iceberg Ahead by James W. Bancroft, Mr. Bancroft profiles many people that were on the Titanic. Of each individual the author profiles, he gives a mini-biography of that person-whether they lived or died-and what happened to them before or after Titanic. To me, this is a unique book on the subject of Titanic and covers some theories and people that I have never heard of before or am not that familiar with. I believe it is well researched and would be a great book for any Titanic or maritime history buff. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. I loved it!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Marianne Malone
Not to be missed about the Titanic. You may think you have read everything but you must read this. This Titanic offering is engaging and should be added to your TBR list.
The focus of "Titanic: 'Iceberg Ahead'" is very much on the people, with some amazing first-hand accounts. The short biographies were a very nice touch, as they made the disaster of the Titanic a far more solid event than if we had just been given facts and figures. This is a very well-written book, and the subject is handled with a lot of respect for those who lost their lives.NetGalley, Dawn Lewis
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, georgi_lvs_books .
“The ship took three years to build took less than three hours to sink.”
Now I LOVE anything to do with the Titanic and I’m always keen to get ANY book on the matter. Fiction/Non-Fiction.... give me them all!
It still amazes me that I always learn something new about the Titanic, and from page 1 I was filled with a lot of brand new interesting facts.
I really enjoyed learning about the passengers aboard the Titanic and it was great when it was mentioned which passengers made an appearance on the Titanic film by James Cameron and which actor that portrayed them.
There are a number of pictures at the end of the book, and they were exciting to see.
This is a great non-fiction, historical book and is a favourite of mine. I would recommend this to any historical reader and of course, those readers who have a love for the Titanic.
“The cries from the poor souls struggling in the water seemed terrible in the stillness of the night. It seemed to go through you like a knife.”
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Laiza Hill
I'm obsessed with the Titanic story and I love the movie and I'm always reading things about that tragic night. This book has some informations that I've never read before and at the same time that I enjoyed reading it and getting to know more about the Titanic and I was sad about everything that happened. The first part of this book has lots of informations about things that happened before the Titanic sailed, what really happened that night and how things happened based on the survivors notes. Reading some of the survivors quotes made me feel like I was there with them that night. The cry and then the silence. I learned about things that happened while they were building the ship and the problems. The second part talks about the passenger's lives, the survivors and victims of that tragic day. There was a lot of research behind it and everything is resumed in part one but I can still understand and learn new information.
The historical facts of the Titanic's infamous sinking have been a morbid maritime currency, in non-fiction books, film's, television documentaries, for well over 100 years. With countless articles written and books published, so many stories have been told and retold about the 'unsinkable' ship and have been historically re-written on countless occasions.NetGalley, VivaLa Books
The most famous that spring to mind would be; 'A night to remember by Walter Lord, and James Cameron's 1997 cinematic masterpiece 'Titanic', are probably the best of both cinematic and non-fiction retellings. Assuming you've read plenty of Titanic's history (like I have) then surely 'TITANIC - ICEBERG AHEAD' by James W Bancroft is superfluous in this well-stocked subject matter? Well, yes and no.
The beginning of the book recounts all of the usual Titanic information, when she was launched, where from, how big, unsinkable, maiden voyage, etc etc. However, by the second half of the book, the author delves deep into the passenger's lives, and unlike those well-versed accounts of the ships first-class millionaires on board, this book tells the life stories of passengers, survivors and victims, of the Titanic, from second and third class. The social history is fascinating and tragic in equilibrium and is told with impressively researched detail. Foreboding narrative aside, it's a very good book for those who aren't familiar with the tragedy of the Titanic or the lives of those who sailed in her.
A very recommended read for history buffs and true crime fans, alike!
This was a quick read on a tragedy that continues to interest and fascinate me. Split into two halves the reader is initially led through the building and launching of the ship. This is followed by a selection of true and personal accounts which added perspective and depth. Containing some illustrations this book is well researched, has good attention to detail and is easy to read. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the Titanic’s voyage and its passengers.NetGalley, Valerie McGurk
Rating: 5 out 5 starsNetGalley, Sarah Pesnell
I've read a lot of books about Titanic ever since I was a little kid and this one did not disappoint. Very well done by the author.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Lou Davis
An engaging story of two sisters who’s lives changed after the sinking of the titanic. Great read. You will not want to put this one down.
The doomed voyage of the Titanic has been told in numerous ways; books, movies and documentaries.NetGalley, Susan Derbacher
In James Bancroft well crafted book, fifty people, fifty very personal accounts are thoughtfully shared.. Who were they? Why were they making this voyage? Were they passengers, members of the crew? Each account is unique, revealing and heartbreaking. Lives were shattered, families separated, lives lost and the strength, complexities and the power of the human spirit is always evident and palpable.
I recommend this as a must read and a wonderful edition to the Titanic library.
Rather than being about the ship and the accident with people mentioned when necessary, this was about the people. Those involved in building and sailing the ship as well as passengers. We do get the story and enough of the details to still be in awe of the size and perceived invincibility of it, but the people are front and center here. What they thought, how they felt, and some small biographic material about many of them. By using their words the emotional pain of losing a father, for example, hits much harder than simply being told passengers lost relatives. The helplessness of knowing a father is onboard as you watch it go down is made more real when we get her words.NetGalley, Jack Messer
I recommend this to readers who always wonder, when reading about any historical event, what the people actually were thinking and what happened to them after the event. My heart went out to so many of these people in a far more personal way than even the movies elicited.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Lisa Konet
Another sad account about the most famous shipwreck in history, the Titanic that struck on iceberg fatally on April 14 1912 and sank into the North Atlantic Ocean. I like how the author discussed about the some of the possible errors when Titanic was being built, also the fact that it may be cursed because 8 shipbuilders died in its creation, interesting point to think about. Most of the book was not new information but I still enjoyed it because it is a nonfiction book about the Titanic.
Highly recommended for anyone interested about the most famous shipwreck in history.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Carol MacArthur
Although much has been written about the Titanic disaster, Bancroft's novel focuses on the cost of human life in the building of the great ship and then on in to the disaster itself. Bancroft tells the life stories of fifty of the passengers and crew, some of whom survived and also some who perished from drowning or from freezing to death. The stories are told in the second portion of the novel. In the first section, however, the reader is led through the building and launch of the ship. The description of the amenities and the wealthy who could afford such a passage is so detailed that the reader experiences the elegance and other-worldliness of the voyage. Well-researched, this novel is a treasure of detail and yet also lends an intimate view of the real people involved in this disaster.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Brenda Carleton
Described in riveting and vivid detail, "Titanic Iceberg Ahead" is a sobering, fascinating, gut wrenching and poignant book about what happened before the fateful night of April 15, 1912 when 1,516 people were killed after the infamous ship hit a black iceberg and sank. The author relays many experiences, letters and journal entries of those who constructed the ship, the few who decided not to board last minute, survivors and some who died in such detail it took my breath away. The amount of research must have been phenomenal!
>From the time of alarm to two explosions to the complete sinking was only three hours. But what those three hours must have been like! Pure terror. I loved this book a lot and many things stand out in my mind including the personal descriptions of the trip by the sadly unsuspecting people, the high number of those with premonitions, the descriptions of belongings in the pockets of the dead and the courageous orchestra members who played until the very end. So many who survived the sinking drowned in the below freezing water. Women and children were rescued first but the number of lifeboats was alarmingly low with a capacity of 1,178, less than half of those on board! These are just a few of the hundreds of stories and details described. The photographs and especially the biographies of many mentioned by name in the book are moving, both those who survived and those who died. Many could not speak of the horrors for the rest of their lives, some did speak of it to get the true story out. All were affected.
This book should be at the top of Nonfiction readers' lists of books to read for sure. It is THAT good.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Joy K
This book is unique, as it shares the perspective of fifty people who experienced the disaster, sharing eyewitness accounts. They describe the vessel itself, the people aboard, and the impressions of people.
There is a list at the end of the book, listing each passenger and crew member, and listing if they survived. This book made the tragedy personal.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Bobbi Wagner
This is a non-fiction book about the Titanic. It is a well developed account of what happened to the ship and its participants. The personal accounts help make you feel as if you were right there with them. This is an interesting, entertaining story of what happened. It was easy to read and understandable which is one of my favorite things about this, the personal accounts was the other thing. I loved this book and highly recommend it to all.
I’m not alone in being fascinated by the story of the ill-fated ship billed as ‘unsinkable’ which hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage. I have read books, watched films and documentaries and am always ready to read and learn more so I was very excited to read Titanic-Iceberg Ahead. The focus of this book is very much on the people who travelled on the Titanic: the first part being an account of events pieced together through the words of passengers and crew; the second part being short biographies of some of the passengers and crew. This book is meticulously researched and pieced together. I discovered so many details that I had not been aware of or appreciated. Reading the story through the words and accounts of others made it feel more real and imaginable. It also gives a greater sense of the human side and the human cost of this tragedy. The two parts of the book are separately fascinating. The biographies flesh out the human lives that populated the Titanic on its first and last voyage. They are an absorbing read. So many themes emerge: lives destroyed by the tragedy; heroes of the Titanic who went on to be heroic elsewhere; passengers and crew who were only on the Titanic by chance. I think this is a worthy addition to Titanic literature.NetGalley, Sally Hughes
You can really feel the research put into this book and the attention to detail is fantastic. Fifty eyewitness accounts helps us to experience the horrific events, who they were, the backgrounds they came from and what happened onboard, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the titanic disaster.NetGalley, Vicky Jones
I loved that this book had parts of letters sent to family from the people who were on the Titanic and parts where these people gave us real words they used about how they felt being on the ship or in the lifeboats afterwards.NetGalley, Chrissie Smith
The book brought tears to my eyes reading these people's reactions while on the life boards, to think of what they must've seen in these moments. To submerge yourself in their thoughts and feelings in the moment is unreal.
The book was easy to read and understand. Highly recommend for any history buffs like myself!
I love all things Titanic and enjoyed the stories shared in this book... What I treasure are the true life, personal accounts from the ship. These are things that shape perspective. What makes a tragedy such as that of the Titanic feel real and personal.NetGalley, Jynell Tackett
Very in depth and well researched book, including accounts and letters from passengers that were on board the Titanic. Interesting to learn about incidents that had happened before the ship even set sail!NetGalley, Nicola Jackson
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, T B
I have read a lot of books about the Titanic and its demise. I have to say this book is one of the best. The attention to detail and the research that has been undertaken is stunning. I found out little known facts about the sinking and also about the people that sailed on her. Crew and passengers alike their stories are all just as important and this book has covered that. The devastation that it caused their families and loved ones is clear to see and the author has also explored that in detail too. It also covers the misinformation that was given out in the early hours/days of the sinking causing more heartache but also uniting families that thought had been lost. I will certainly be buying this book when it comes out in print. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone that wants to enhance their knowledge of the Titanic and its passengers or if you are just interested in this avoidable disaster.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Donna Maguire
I have always been fascinated by the Titanic so as soon as I saw that this book was being released I was really intrigued and I had the whole book read from cover to cover in a matter of hours of it landing on my Kindle!
I loved the layout and the authors writing style was perfect, I found it addictive and was reading, just one more chapter after the other which is the sign of a really good book for me.
I have read a lot of books on the disaster and this one has stood out for me – it is informative, honest and frank in the statements made. I loved finding out what happened to some of the people that survived too – Charles Lightoller was a revelation and I loved what he was able to achieve after – a remarkable man and the book told me quite a lot I had not read before and particularly enjoyed that the people were the main focus
It is 5 stars from me for this one – it was a great book to read and I loved being able to read the stories of those who were actually involved with the great ship – very highly recommended!
This was a huge insight into the survivors and the whole past surrounding the titanic. It really makes you appreciate how terrible it was and how much it affected the survivors lives and other people in the world at that time and in the future.NetGalley, Kelly Taylor
The Titanic was a disaster of epic proportions, one that would have lasting effects for many years to come. With the "Unsinkable" ship ready to sail, many flocked to its decks, hoping for better lives, celebrating honeymoons, looking for better employment, or just taking pleasure trips.NetGalley, Rebecca Hill
When the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on 14 April 1912 - no one could believe it. The iceberg should not have caused the amount of damage, but there were several design flaws, ones that would come back to haunt the massive ocean liner.
Through this book, we get a glimpse inside the ship itself, the people aboard the vessel, and many of their thoughts and impressions on the great liner. What can never be erased is the massive loss of life, due to the fact that there were not enough lifeboats on board for everyone and the lives that were torn apart by the sinking of this ship. This heartbreaking book will keep you captured from page one, giving you a glimpse into the hopes and dreams that were dashed for many that night.
At the end of the book, there is an accounting for several of the passengers and crew, whether they lived or died, and even providing some background on them. These stories bring home the humanness of it all, the real live people who had their lives cut short, dreams lost, and for some, the inability to get over the guilt of having survived the sinking.
I highly recommend this book! It was amazing, and I truly enjoyed it!
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Kay ODell
So much information. Loved hearing another book about the Titanic. Very detailed book.
James W. Bancroft has done an excellent job of recounting the journey and sinking of the Titanic in his book. His research is brilliant and this definitely shows.NetGalley, Amy Jordan
I very much enjoyed the style of including accounts from 'some of those who were there', it really brought the book to life. Some of the descriptions nearly brought tears and they were woven seamlessly with the author narrative.
This is a very interesting and informative little tome..NetGalley, Joyce Fox
I knew that there were accidents during the building of the ship, but did not know that eight men died during the building process of the Titanic in the Harland & Wolfe shipyard.
I also found fascinating how the firemen/stokers and trimmers kept the ship moving and loaded with coal even after she was mortally damaged. I have seen the movie about the heroic firemen, etc., that kept the lights on as the Titanic went down. Absolutely wonderfully done! And the musicians.
There is an extensive listing of some of those who survived that awful night, and those who didn't. It talks about their histories, where they came from and a little about their families.
This is followed by a description of how the press handled the emergency/disaster, and an extensive bibliography for those who would like to further explore the subject.
And pictures! With captions!
All in all, this is a good book, told in clear and concise style. It covers aspects about the voyage that no one else (that I have read, anyway), has thought to discuss. Very well done, Mr. Bancroft.
14th April 1912
Just before midnight on Sunday, 14 April 1912, Titanic’s crew began to send out distress signals stating, ‘We have struck an iceberg’. The liner had been steaming at speed when it collided with an enormous iceberg which stripped off her bilge under the waterline for more than 100 yards, opened up five of the front compartments and flooded the coal bunker servicing one of the boilers.
15th April 1912
More than 1,500 passengers and crew died when RMS Titanic sank, only a few hours after striking an iceberg days into her maiden voyage. Two out of every three people onboard perished. Shortly before midnight on Sunday, 14 April 1912, Titanic’s crew began to send out distress signals stating, ‘We have struck an iceberg’. The liner had been steaming at speed when it collided with an enormous iceberg which stripped off her bilge under the waterline for more than 100 yards, opened up five of the front compartments and flooded the coal bunker servicing one of the boilers. Some three hours after the disaster began to unfold the last visible part of Titanic slipped beneath the waves.
When Titanic foundered in April 1912, the world’s focus was on the tragedy of the passengers who lost their lives. Ever since, in films, dramatisations, adaptations and books, the focus has mostly continued to be on the ones who died. The Titanic and the City of Widows it Left Behind focuses on another group of people – the widows and children of the crew who perished on board. Author Julie Cook’s great-grandfather was a stoker who died on Titanic. Her great-grandmother had to raise five children with no breadwinner. This book focuses on Emily and the widows like her who had to fight for…By Julie Cook
Click here to buy both titles for £39.99