Down With the Old Canoe

Down With the Old Canoe

A Cultural History of the Titanic Disaster

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
Explores how the Titanic disaster became an icon for a variety of groups, including suffragists and their opponents, radicals, reformers, capitalists, critics of technology, racists, and xenophobes.

Norton Pub
"Brimming over with wit and insight…Fresh and fascinating." —Dan Rather
Everyone from suffragists to 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 found moral and cultural lessons in the sinking of the Titanic.In a new edition that both commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of the disaster and elaborates, in a revised afterword, on the ship's continued impact on the public imagination (evidenced by the Titanic mania evoked by James Cameron's 1997 film), Steven Biel explores the Titanic in all its complexity and contradictions.

Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2012
ISBN: 9780393340808
Branch Call Number: 910.452 B476d
Characteristics: vii, 300 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 21 cm


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Dec 23, 2011

Why are we so fascinated by the Titanic? Is it the hubris of its era, the excessive luxury coupled with the sub-par safety measures? Is it all the ?what ifs? that could have prevented the disaster, from the ignored ice warnings to the nearby ship that could have saved every soul on board had it ventured to find out what was going on? Is it the striking class differences that meant Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon set sail in a lifeboat built for forty with only three other passengers and seven crewmen to row them, while hundreds of third class passengers were kept below decks until the last minute? Author Stephen Biel explores the cultural history of the Titanic, from its effect on the suffrage movement (the old standby of ?women and children first? meant that men were made into easy heroes who stood for strength and power while the women survivors were weaklings who needed protection) to the commercialization of the disaster in the form of books (including his own), movies, and exhibitions. He touches on all of Titanic?s roles throughout history: news sensation, metaphor, commodity, and entertainment. Regardless of how much time goes by, Titanic will always give us something to talk about.


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