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Mighty Fitz : the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Michael Schumacher
Adult Nonfiction G530.E26 S38 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Great Lakes ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, an event given lasting fame by singer Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," Schumacher recreates both the ship's final trip and the controversies that later eddied about the wreck's cause and the ultimate disposition of ship relics. Schumacher, biographer of Eric Clapton, Francis Ford Coppola and Allen Ginsberg, has also produced 25 documentaries about Great Lakes shipwrecks-an indication of his passion. Even as he dissects the rancorous disputes that arose among family members of the dead, historians and others seeking to either memorialize or exploit the shipwreck, Schumacher never fails to bring a sympathetic and knowledgeable view of the story, as well as great respect to the memory of the 29 crew members who died. Although some of the literary devices he employs are formulaic-the high school student being called from class to learn of the death of her father, for example-Schumacher, aided by his encyclopedic knowledge of Great Lakes shipwrecks and his abiding interest in telling an accurate, unsensationalized story makes them work in a rewarding narrative. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Schumacher (Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton), a specialist on the Edmund Fitzgerald, presents perhaps the most complete account possible of its demise. A 729' ore carrier, it disappeared from radar without warning 30 years ago on November 10, 1975, in the midst of an early winter storm, and nosedived to the bottom of Lake Superior. All 29 crewmembers perished. Schumacher recounts briefly the 18-year career of "one of the hardest-working ships in the business," then goes on grippingly to portray all that has been recorded of its final voyage. His fourth and fifth chapters, "Search for Answers" and "The Marine Board Report," depend heavily on the Marine Board of Investigation's report of the incident, particularly the testimonies of 45 witnesses (those who had had limited radio or telephone contact with the ship during its final hours as well as former Fitzgerald crew members). His final chapter, "Tarnished Gravesite," is an account of the surprising momentum that the ship's story has gained over the years since its loss. Noteworthy here is Schumacher's careful and precise reporting of the resulting legacy of court battles and territorial squabbles over "who owns the wreckage and who can visit it and remove articles-who, in general, can profit from the loss of property and, in some cases, life." This excellent study has the added strengths of a helpful glossary and a useful 19-page bibliography. Strongly recommended for both academic and public libraries.-Robert C. Jones, formerly with Central Missouri State Univ., Warrensburg (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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