Return to Titanic: A New Look at the World's Most Famous Lost Ship

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National Geographic, 2004 - History - 192 pages
2 Reviews
This compelling, illustrated book is a journey back in time to the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912; a hard look at the present salvaging and natural deterioration of the wreck; and a blueprint for future conservation of this icon. Says Ballard, "every possible book has been written on the Titanic, and Titanic addicts have them all. They will not have this." RETURN TO TITANIC brings new dimension, visually and factually. First, the incomparable hi-tech cameras Ballard created to document wrecks on the Mediterranean seafloor in summer 2003 will be used to reveal the changes in Titanic since the first images were made by National Geographic in 1985. Second, he will analyze the salvaging of the wreck by private groups, as well as the natural deterioration since 1985; finally he will establish the global conservation ethos that this and other wrecks be revered as "pyramids of the deep," rather than ransacked. TITANIC has 5 chapters in 192 pages, with 125 images, diagrams, and maps. Images will include period pictures and drawings from the early 1900s, pictures of the 1985 discovery of the wreck, and modern images, culminating in the hi-tech images of the June 2004 expedition.TITANIC is ghost-authored by award-winning historian and journalist Mike Sweeney, whose books for National Geographic include From the Front and America on the Move. Sweeney is a first-rate storyteller whose "can't-put-it-down" narrative is peppered with eye-opening anecdotes. For Titanic the anecdotes are endless. Sweeney's deft hand combines with Ballard's own intriguing story of discovery, his masterminding of robots and hi-definition cameras to document the wreck, and his commitment to conservation in the 21st century. The human element plays a big part in RETURN TO TITANIC, as Ballard and Sweeney clarify that technology and conservation are but means to preserving the spirits of the humans lost in the tragedy. Sidebars throughout, identify the artifacts of survivors, such as letters, watches, clothing, and tell their stories.

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
6
Section 3
19
Copyright

13 other sections not shown

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About the author (2004)

Robert Ballard was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1942, and was educated at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Hawaii, the University of Southern California, and the University of Rhode Island, where he received his Ph.D. in 1974. Part explorer, part geologist, part oceanographer, and part marine engineer, Ballard has worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Falmouth, Massachusetts, since 1969. He is currently director of the Center for Marine Exploration there. Ballard is perhaps best known to the general public in connection to the luxury liner Titanic. Ballard organized and participated in the expedition that discovered the ship in 1985. More important, however, is his work in designing underwater survey vehicles and in participating in dives to explore the ocean floor. His work in marine design and engineering, in particular, has led to a dramatic increase in the scope of deep-sea exploration. In the 1960s, Ballard helped develop the Alvin, a deep-sea, three-man submersible equipped with a remote controlled mechanical arm for collecting specimens from the ocean floor. The device played an important role in mid-ocean studies, including exploration of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and dives to the Cayman Trough, a 24,000-foot-deep gash in the ocean floor south of Cuba. Ballard was part of the Galapagos Hydrothermal Expedition in 1977, which discovered and investigated deep-sea thermal vents spouting mineral-rich water from volcanic cracks in the Earth's crust. In the 1980s, Ballard helped develop the Argo-Jason unmanned submersible system, the most advanced craft of its kind. Argo is a 16-foot submersible vehicle and Jason is a self-propelled robot tethered to Argo. The search for the Titanic was undertaken as a test of the Argo-Jason system; the success of the expedition demonstrated its capabilities and, according to Ballard, "ushered in a new era of undersea exploration." The author of several bestselling books on deep-sea exploration, Ballard also contributes regularly to National Geographic and other magazines and he has produced several videotapes of deep-sea expeditions. His reputation as a "science populizer" has prompted harsh criticism from some of his scientific colleagues. In 1985, Ballard was one of four scientists awarded a Secretary of the Navy Research Chair in Oceanography, an award that carries with it an $800,000 grant for oceanographic research.

Michael Sweeney, a two-time Pushcart nominee, earned his MFA from Brooklyn College and was a long-time student of Isshinryu Modes Karate. He is the author of Octagon Commonweal (Spuyten Duyvil, 2015) and In Memory of the Fast Break (Plain View Press, 2008), a Finalist and Must-Read selection for the Massachusetts Center for the Book's 2009 MASSBOOKS OF THE YEAR/POETRY Awards. "The Last Cracker," from that volume, was selected by Stephen Dunn as runner-up for the St. Louis Poetry Center's 48th Annual "Best Poem" contest and appeared in Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, Volume 6. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Patricia.

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