With her gleaming white superstructure, jet black hull, and canted funnel sporting the national colors, the Italian liner Andrea Doria was the most strikingly beautiful of the postwar transatlantic passenger vessels. On July 25, 1956 she collided with Stockholm, a Swedish motorship in a dense fog off Nantucket. The reinforced bow of the Stockholm penetrated 40 feet into the Doria's starboard side, cutting a swath of destruction and death and inflicting a mortal wound. This is a meticulous account of the liner's last hours and of the largest sea rescue in peacetime history. Harrowing, tense, and memorable.— Alden Graves
In the tradition of Erik Larson's Dead Wake comes The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria, about the sinking of the glamorous Italian ocean liner, including never-before-seen photos of the wreck today.
In 1956, a stunned world watched as the famous Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria sank after being struck by a Swedish vessel off the coast of Nantucket. Unlike the tragedy of the Titanic, this sinking played out in real time across radios and televisions, the first disaster of the modern age. Audiences witnessed everything that ensued after the unthinkable collision of two modern vessels equipped with radar: perilous hours of uncertainty; the heroic rescue of passengers; and the final gasp as the pride of the Italian fleet slipped beneath the Atlantic, taking some fifty lives with her. Her loss signaled the end of the golden age of ocean liner travel.
Now, Greg King and Penny Wilson offer a fresh look at this legendary liner and her tragic fate. Andrea Doria represented the romance of travel, the possibility of new lives in the new world, and the glamour of 1950s art, culture, and life. Set against a glorious backdrop of celebrity and La Dolce Vita, Andrea Doria's last voyage comes vividly to life in a narrative tightly focused on her passengers – Cary Grant's wife; Philadelphia's flamboyant mayor; the heiress to the Marshall Field fortune; and many brave Italian emigrants – who found themselves plunged into a desperate struggle to survive. The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria follows the effect this trauma had on their lives, and brings the story up-to-date with the latest expeditions to the wreck.
Drawing on in-depth research, interviews with survivors, and never-before-seen photos of the wreck as it is today, The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria is a vibrant story of fatal errors, shattered lives, and the triumph of the human spirit.
Praise for The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria:
"An extensively documented account of the 1956 sinking of the Italian luxury liner…Readers will find amazing stories of serendipitous luck, heroism, cowardice, and tragedy." —Booklist
Praise for Greg King and Penny Wilson:
“[King and Wilson] have succeeded marvelously, offering up a lucid and entertaining historical portrait.” —The Wall Street Journal for Twilight of Empire
"[A] fine example of historical detective work by the always-entertaining and-enlightening King-and-Wilson duo." —Booklist for Twilight of Empire
“A fascinating account of a ship, its passengers, and its terrible fate.” —Publishers Weekly for Lusitania
“Highly informed, compellingly written...there was a great deal more to the story than its heart-wrenching tragedy.” —The Wall Street Journal for Lusitania
"More than a chronicle of the tragedy, this offers a penetrating look at the end of the Edwardian era.” —Booklist for Lusitania
"This personal and political study, with its revisionist take, will be popular with historians and general readers alike and is highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review) for The Assassination of the Archduke