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Titanic's Last Secrets
By Brad Matsen
Read by Henry Leyva

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Titanic's Last Secrets

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Titanic's Last Secrets
The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler

By Brad Matsen
Read by Henry Leyva
Hachette Audio, (2008)
An Abridged Recording on 5 CDs
ISBN 10: 1-60024-185-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-60024-185-7
Genre: History

Reviewed by Herbert White - November 3, 2008

On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank with a loss of life of some 1,517 men, women, and children. Since her sinking, there have been an untold number of theories proffered upon how and why this supposedly unsinkable ship went to the bottom of the sea. We will probably never know the entire truth, but we can be sure that arrogance and avarice played a major role. In Titanic's Last Secrets, Brad Matsen chronicles the efforts of John Chatterton and Richie Kohler to eke out the last remaining secrets that could be garnered from the wreckage of this great ship, and he has attempted to retell the story of the ship, incorporating this new and vitally important data.

As a big fan/history buff interested in the Titanic, I had thought that I had heard all there was to know about the great ship and the fluke of fake that sent her to the bottom of the sea - I was wrong. While listening to the audio version of Titanic's Last Secrets I did indeed learn some new facts about the Titanic and her last voyage! I will not tell what these new facts are, simply because I don't want to spoil your fun at discovering them yourself, when you read or listen to this exciting book.

This book was written by Brad Matsen, with researched contributed by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler. Matsen is the author of numerous books about the sea, including Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss. He has also worked on the television series The Shape of Life and he regularly contributes articles to a number of national magazines. Chatterton and Kohler, also contributed research to Robert Kurson's award winning book, Shadow Divers. They have also dived to the bottom of the sea to view the Titanic for themselves, and to conduct research upon her remains.

The combined talents of these three men have merged to created a compelling narrative that provides new insights into the history of the Titanic, and the numerous factors that came together to cause her sinking. The authors begin the history of the ship at her beginning, looking at her construction, her economic and political importance, and the faithful decisions that were made by her crew that lead to her foundering. Most important, the information that Chatterton and Kohler discovered when they dived to the wreckage (in a submersible), has totally changed our understanding of how and why the ship sank - and just how much faster she might have gone down than anyone has previously imaged.

I don't want to say too much about Titanic's Last Secrets, because I want you to learn about these new discoveries from the men who made them. After all, they can tell their story far better than I. Suffice it say that this is a book that is a must read (listen to) for anyone with an interest in the Titanic, Disasters at Sea, Maritime history, or who are simply looking for a thrilling, true-life adventure story about the search for the ultimate truth about the Titanic and her last remaining secrets and how this new evidence has effectively rewritten the story of the Titanic and her deadly voyage. Highly recommended!


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