Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]

Literary Events

Literary Events

What's New?__________


July 6th, author Neil Gaiman will speak at the Long Center. $32.
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The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here.
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Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dead Wake Was Too Late to Warn Lusitania Passengers of Jeopardy

20 Book Club members played Jeopardy, with all the questions on topics about Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson. Thanks to Cindy T., the game was lots of fun and brought out main points from the book. Correct answers brought taffy candies, and there were more prizes at the end. The prizes were a book Christmas Carols, to symbolize the loss on the Lusitania of an original manuscript of Dickens' Christmas Carol and a book of drawings to symbolize the loss on the Lusitania of drawings by William Makepeace Thackeray. Dennis won first prize, Ken won second, and Carla was third...congratulations! The questions were challenging!

Here are some of the answers and the questions that went with them. Remember, this was Jeopardy!
26 knots: How fast could the Lusitania go?
A Roman province on the Iberian peninsula: What was Lusitania?
The world must be safe for democracy: What was the reason Woodrow Wilson gave for asking in a speech to Congress and his Cabinet  in 1917 that the U.S. declare war?
2 days after World War 1 began, this woman died of Bright's disease: Who was Woodrow Wilson's wife?
These were found by the Russians and were given to the British Admiralty and used in Room 40 in London for intercepting messages and translating them: What were code books?
The North Channel: What new route open to civilian liners did the Admiralty fail to transmit information about to the Lusitania?
Woodrow Wilson was doing this daily activity when he heard the first report about the deaths of Americans on the Lusitania: What was the daily walk around the green areas of the golf course?
This young Austrian soldier wrote about a stalemate during the second battle of Belgium where poison gas was used and people died: Who was Corporal Adolph Hitler?
These parts of the Lusitania had a design flaw that made the ship relatively easy to sink: What were coal bunkers?
And the Final Jeopardy answer/question that caused some confusion and discussion about interpretation was the following: A dead wake from a ship or torpedo leaves this kind of trail: What is a fading disturbance? Cindy T. researched this further after the meeting and wrote in an email message, "On page 440, the author states that dead wake is a maritime term for the disturbance that lingers on the sea long after the passage of a vessel.  This term resonates in other ways which might be the lesson of the book."

After finishing the game, we talked some more about parts of the book that had impressed us and were left somewhat unresolved. We talked about the potential conspiracy among the British officials, including Winston Churchill, to allow harm's way to intersect with the Lusitania to encourage America to enter the war. Another issue not handled clearly was Turner's guilt as the ship's Captain. It seemed he didn't really make a mistake but he suffered a lot of blame. Wilson's interest in a declaration of war after the sinking of the Lusitania even though the United States had been staying out it of also brought questions. And then there were the infamous 2 supposed explosions, of which only 1 was noticed.

An interesting discussion involved our answers to the question of whether we would have boarded the Lusitania if we had tickets for that fateful voyage. Carla said that she probably would have gone on the trip, without the hindsight we now have, because it's fun to travel and go on cruises. Dennis said that new ships were always considered dangerous, and that the Titanic had been a new ship, so he probably would not have bought a ticket on the new ship. Ken said the ship's design made it very topheavy, so it would keep its stability only if it didn't leak and stow a heavy amount of water. Linda said that since Britain was at war, the news probably would have allowed people to know that ships were being sunk, so that would have dissuaded her. Marla said that Americans tend to think they will always be safe or will have exceptions made for them, such as making space for them on a crowded lifeboat, if they say that they are Americans. Joyce said that the travelers were not necessarily on vacation but were traveling for business or to visit family.

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