This book combines two survivors' vivid accounts of the greatest maritime disaster in history: the sinking of the Titanic. The information contained in Colonel Archibald Gracie's Titanic: A Survivor's Story is available from no other source. He provides details of those final moments, including names of passengers pulled from the ocean and of those men who, in a panic, jumped into lifeboats as they were being lowered, causing injury and further danger to life. Walter Lord, author of A Night to Remember, comments that Gracie's book--written shortly before he died from the exposure he suffered on that night-is "invaluable for chasing down who went in what boat," and calls Gracie "an indefatigable detective".
John Thayer also had a remarkable escape from death in the icy waters of the Atlantic. He was only seventeen at the time and was, like Gracie, one of the last to leave the ship. His account, The Sinking of the S.S. Titanic, is meticuously detailed. It was privately published for members of his family in 1940. His Preface is especially insightful: the sinking of the Titanic was, in his eyes, a symbol of the end of the world that he knew, and the horrific beginning of a frightening new era. It is published here courtesy of Capt. Richard Fremont-Smith, USCG (Ret.), a cousin of the author.
The two authors do a fine job of giving an account of what happened and their survival. This book is my favorite account of that terrible night.