22nd April 2009, 17:13
For a limited time, my electronic book on the Californian/Titanic affair is available as a free download at http://www.paullee.com/book.pdf
22nd April 2009, 19:12
Paul you are to be congratulated on a detailed and indepth study of the Titanic disaster. Many thanks for letting us see it in its entirety.
24th April 2009, 13:08
You're welcome, I hope you enjoy it.
24th April 2009, 17:31
Paul thank you very much for the opportunity, I will read at my own leisure,
24th April 2009, 17:43
Thank you Paul for your kindness,I cant wait to start reading it.
24th April 2009, 17:51
Thank you Paul. I have had a quick skim through and I now look forward to reading it in depth.
23rd June 2009, 14:24
Thanks to everyone who read the manuscript and offered suggestions and (many!) corrections. I am about to re-release this as a softcover if anyone's interested, just have a look at my website.
13th July 2009, 11:57
Theres been a slight delay in printing. For those of you who have ordered a copy, please be patient for a little longer ;)
16th November 2009, 04:31
Here is a review of The Indifferent Stranger that I wrote last year based on the eBook written by Dr. Paul Lee. Although I don't yet have a copy of the softcover book as recently published by the author, I still consider this the best balanced book written about the subject. I've reviewed many books for The Titanic Commutator, and this ranks in the top three or four of books that I would whole-heartedly recommend without reservation.
The Indifferent Stranger
Dr. Paul Lee
Self published eBook, 2008
329 pages, illustrated, £15
One of the rules of etiquette is that a guest to your home does not speak of religion or politics. Likewise, at some gatherings of Titanic historians, it is best not to speak of one of the most contentious topics relating to the tragedy – that of the guilt or innocence of Captain Stanley Lord and his ship, the Leyland liner Californian.
Hundreds of thousands of words have been written about this controversy, and frankly, most books and articles are heavily slanted either pro or con, often with information excluded from or reworded from the historic narrative to support the position of whatever side the author finds himself on. Thus, it is troubling to see in one narrative how Leslie Harrison left out mention of rockets fired by the Carpathia at 3:15 a.m. and seen by the Californian at the same time since this sighting doesn’t support his point of view. Equally perturbing is the way that Leslie Reade omitted part of Fifth Officer Lowe’s testimony concerning lights on the mystery ship that seemed to indicate to Lowe that the ship was steaming away.
The basic facts – that the officers and some of the crew of the Californian saw rockets being fired to the south and that numerous passengers and crew of the Titanic saw the lights of a ship to the north are without doubt. But from this point on, there are widely divergent viewpoints of what happened and what was seen, and since 1912, writers on both sides of the question have attempted to sway the undecided to their respective view.
There is a wealth of information available in the form of testimony given to both the American and British inquires as well as letters, logbooks, wireless records, interviews and memoirs. A careful shifting of all available evidence, omitting none, is what has been needed since the first accusations were hurled at Captain Lord.
The Indifferent Stranger is a newly published eBook by Dr. Paul Lee, a frequent contributor to the Commutator. His look at this controversial subject is thorough, exhaustive and seemingly complete. Far from cherry picking evidence to support his conclusions, Dr. Lee has instead presented entire passages of testimony in order for the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. This approach can make certain sections of the book drag just a bit; however, this approach ensures all relevant information is provided.
With the purchase of this eBook, the purchaser sent a PDF to open and read on his or her computer, or can instead order a copy on a CD. It can then also be loaded onto a PDA or, as I did, print out a copy onto 8 ½” x 11” paper and put into a three-ring binder. (Note as of 11/15/09 -- this book is now available as a softcover book.)
The entire story of the Californian incident is retold in a chronological manner. Using testimony and related material drawn from the two main inquiries, the book delves into the beginnings of the controversy surrounding the indifferent stranger that was supposedly seen by both the Titanic and Californian. When it is established by the writer that in spite of Captain Lord’s protestations, his ship was indeed the mystery ship that sat at rest a short distance away, Dr. Lee is very careful to present both sides of every argument – even if the information used runs counter to the Lee’s eventual conclusions.
The author spends much time going through not only inquiry notes, but contemporary newspaper accounts, letters and reported conversations as well. Step by step, and with great detail, each puzzle piece is carefully examined, both sides of the issue looked at and discussed, and that issue objectively examined, helping the reader decide what did happen the night of April 14-15.
Sorting through the maze of conflicting stories takes patience, time and much effort. Numerous portions of the 1912 inquiries are presented in full. Although reading these excerpts can be tedious, no one can accuse Dr. Lee of leaving out items which do not fit the case he presents throughout the book. The reader is exhorted to read through all of the transcripts “…for contained within is not only verification of the extracts presented in this book, but also priceless snippets of information…”
Numerous charts and illustrations help the reader understand what was seen, and from what height above the water ship’s lights and the glare of socket signals could be seen. For instance, on pages 314-316 is a series of original illustrations showing what the lights of the Californian must have looked like to Fourth Officer Boxhall. These lights would have shifted throughout the night in the current and displayed what first looked like two masthead lights and a green light changing to what later appeared to be just a single masthead light as the Titanic sank deeper into the water. Touches such as these add great detail to the book.
Some of the conclusions in Dr. Lee’s eBook will upset people – but he has taken great care to clearly show from the actual and unedited words of the principals exactly what must have happened.
Although there are a few small formatting issues with the eBook, and while I personally dislike the use of Stanley Morrison’s Times New Roman as the type face employed throughout, it is the text of the book and the accompanying illustrations that make this book well worth the purchase. The lack of an index is not a concern since the electronic version of the book is easily searched, as the author intended.
The book will not be the final word on this contentious subject, but barring new discoveries, it may well stand as the definitive argument for one side of the Californian question.
This review copyright Timothy J. Trower, 2008. It cannot be used in any form without prior written permission of the author.
22nd November 2010, 08:31
If you have Kindle, you can now obtain my book in kindle-ised form. Do a search on Amazon.co.uk for "Titanic indifferent stranger"
28th December 2010, 17:54
Thanks to Lulu, there is now a 15% discount on my book; just enter the promotional code displayed on the graphic at the foot of my homepage ( http://www.paullee.com )
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