Said to have brought the United States in to World War I, the bombing of the Lusitania on May 1, 1915 was a maritime passenger tragedy that ranks with Titanic in recognition. 1,198 people lost. Was it hubris on the Captain’s part? Sailing in enemy waters against German warnings. Thinking the “Greyhound” could outrun an attack. Passenger carelessness? Or was something much more at play? Larson starts out with a level of tension and builds expectation that never lets up. Fascinating politics and the personal life of the players adds a human element to the story. Larson’s research uncovers much for the history lover and novice and should still read like a thriller for the well versed. Just don’t pack this one for your next cruise vacation!

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