Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1997 - History - 300 pages
6 Reviews
"I suggest, henceforth, when a woman talks women's rights, she be answered with the word Titanic, nothing more--just Titanic," wrote a St. Louis man to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was not alone in mining the ship for a metaphor. Everyone found ammunition in the Titanic--suffragists and their opponents; radicals, reformers, and capitalists; critics of technology and modern life; racists and xenophobes and champions of racial and ethnic equality; editorial writers and folk singers, preachers and poets.

Protestant sermons used the Titanic to condemn the budding consumer society ("We know the end of . . . the undisturbed sensualists. As they sail the sea of life we know absolutely that their ship will meet disaster."). African American toasts and working-class ballads made the ship emblematic of the foolishness of white people and the greed of the rich. A 1950s revival framed the disaster as an "older kind of disaster in which people had time to die." An ever-increasing number of Titanic buffs find heroism and order in the tale. Still in the headlines ("Titanic Baby Found Alive!" the Weekly World News declares) and a figure of everyday speech ("rearranging deck chairs . . ."), the Titanic disaster echoes within a richly diverse, paradoxical, and fascinating America.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lostinavalonOR - LibraryThing

Well, this book is nothing if not well-researched. Still, there wasn't really a lot of "new" here. Anyone who knows the history of the eras, and has studied the history of the Titanic, will already ... Read full review

Review: Down with the Old Canoe: A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster

User Review  - Mel - Goodreads

Deadly, deadly dull- beware! Read full review

Contents

PARTI MEANINGS Foreword NATURE JEERS AT OUR FOLLY
3
APRIL 1912
9
THE RULE OF THE SEA AND LAND
23
MAMMON
59
Interword A NOBLE STRUCTURE OF ENDURING STONE
85
MEMORIES Chapter 5 A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
143
ENTHUSIASTS
174
MISSION TO DESTINY
203
Afterword REARRANGING DECK CHAIRS
226
List of Abbreviations
235
Notes
239
Acknowledgments
281
Index
285
Copyright

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The 1910s
David Blanke
Limited preview - 2002
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About the author (1997)

Steven Biel is the executive director of the Mahindra Humanities Center and a senior lecturer on history and literature at Harvard University.

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