A few minutes before midnight on April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” new White Star liner RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage to New York, struck an iceberg. Less that three hours later she was at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The world has never forgotten the tragedy of that “Night to Remember,” but the most amazing drama of those fateful hours was not played out aboard the doomed liner. It took place on the decks of two other ships, one fifty-eight miles from the sinking Titanic, the other barely ten miles away. In what is one of the most incredible coincidences of history, the masters of the steamships Carpathia and Californian, Capt. Arthur Rostron and Capt. Stanley Lord, respectively–men of diametrically opposite personalities and values–were informed within minutes of each other that their vessels had picked up the distress signals of a sinking ship. Their actions in the hours and days that followed would become the stuff of legend, as one would choose to take his ship into dangerous waters to answer the call for help, while the other would decide that the hazard to himself and his command was too great to risk responding.
Now, Daniel Allen Butler, following up his best-seller “Unsinkable”–the Full Story of RMS Titanic, tells the story of these two captains and their ships–and at the same time tears apart the veil of silence that has surrounded one of them for more than ninety years, revealing the truth that other historians have chosen to ignore or feared to reveal–that one of the captains possessed deep-seated character flaws which caused him to let hundreds of people, who might have been saved by decisive action on his part, needlessly die.
Moving from ship to ship on the icy waters of the North Atlantic, then to hearing chambers in New York, Washington DC, and London, the real story unfolds as the actions of each captain are examined, questioned, and judged. First in the U.S. Senate Investigation, then ultimately in the Board of Trade Inquiry, the truth of what actually happened aboard the Titanic, the Carpathia and the Californian is revealed.
The Other Side of the Night offers a unique window onto what transpired on the bridges and decks of the Californian and the Carpathia that remarkable night, and looks into the minds and hearts of the two captains, Rostron and Lord, as well, throwing a new–and sometimes harsh–light on one of the great maritime rescues of all time. Using a mass of documentary and first-hand source material, the story carefully shows how each ship and its captain arrived in their own unique position to intervene if they chose in the unfolding disaster. Presenting a timely insight into how and why different men will react in different ways when presented with the same difficult challenge, The Other Side of the Night is far more than just another book about the Titanic–it tells the story of how one man would risk his command, his reputation, and his life in an effort to respond to a desperate cry for help, while the other, in choosing prudence over compassion, would pretend he never heard it.
You can order The Other Side of the Night in hard-cover, soft-cover or Kindle edition here.