When it set sail from New York on May 1, 1915, the Lusitania bore a full manifest of passengers and the ingenuity and hubris of its era. It was immense and luxurious, the fastest civilian ship in service. It was also under threat. The Germans declared that British ships sailed “at their own risk,” a risk the Lusitania’s operators perilously defied. They claimed theirs was the safest ship at sea. Wednesday, the writer Erik Larson joins us to recount the disastrous tale of the Lusitania’s last crossing. (Rebroadcast)
Erik Larson is the author of the books In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac’s Storm. His latest book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania [Amazon|Independent Bookstores] is out in paperback.