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Old 09-04-2018, 03:53 PM   #76
Dngrsone
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Shattered City is currently $2.99 at Amazon.com, for those who are interested.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:51 PM   #77
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Thanks Dngrsone - I recommend it to those interested in reading what is described as the definitive book on the event and its aftermath.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:40 PM   #78
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Posting this without reading other commentary. I gave this 4 stars for the meticulous research that the author must have put into the book. Then I saw Bookpossum's post on GR about the plagiarism and was somewhat shocked that Bacon could be so blatant and shameless. Makes it difficult to really write a review of the book, which is probably why it has taken me so long to put my thoughts down.

A couple of things I was going to say before Bookpossum ruined it for me (): I found the story fascinating (wherever the research came from) and was astonished that I'd never heard of this event before, especially as I was a bit of a war buff in my youth. I did approach the story with some trepidation, as I suspected that a large part of the tale would be taken up with extended courtroom battles over culpability. I was pleasantly surprised that this was dealt with quite briefly, though I did wonder why there seemed to be no attention given to the morons who ordered the Mont-Blanc to be loaded with the staggering amount of explosive, and that all the attention was focused on who may or may not be responsible for the collision. Now I wonder if it was just poor research on the part of Bacon rather than this issue not having been raised at the time.

So overall I'm glad I read it as the story should be more widely known. I just won't be attributing Mr Bacon with any kudos for the retelling, and I'm off to lower his star rating on GR.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:58 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'll give you an example.

Early on, Bacon talked about how the Great War caused the industrialization of Halifax and cited (his only citation) the Willis and Bates company, which he said manufactured doughboy-style helmets because it had previously made metal lampshades with a similar shape.

This stopped me in my tracks, as it made no sense. Metal lampshades? Lampshades are designed to let light through! Moreover, I'm familiar with the shape of the doughboy helmets and they look like no lampshade I've ever seen. So I googled Willis and Bates.

Guess what? The company, which did manufacture lanterns in both world wars, was located in Halifax, England, not Halifax, Canada. This is where I would have stopped reading, had it not been for the NLBC.

For all we've criticized him for the stuff he lifted from other authors, it's at least more accurate than the stuff he came up with on his own.
Hahaha! That's classic, what a maroon!

(though I have seen plenty of metal lampshades, usually the kind that hang high on the ceiling so that the light comes from beneath, rather than through the lampshade, so it didn't jar when I read it)
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:14 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
TI expect you are right about the Willis & Bates error, but while it seems unlikely it is conceivable that the company had a factory in Canada too. (Just saying that I wouldn't hang him for it without further evidence.)
I think the coincidence of there being the same firm in Halifax, England and Halifax, Canada is just too great. I think it was just more sloppy research.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:28 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlok View Post
[...] I did approach the story with some trepidation, as I suspected that a large part of the tale would be taken up with extended courtroom battles over culpability. I was pleasantly surprised that this was dealt with quite briefly, though I did wonder why there seemed to be no attention given to the morons who ordered the Mont-Blanc to be loaded with the staggering amount of explosive, and that all the attention was focused on who may or may not be responsible for the collision. Now I wonder if it was just poor research on the part of Bacon rather than this issue not having been raised at the time. [...]
One of the things I liked about Bacon's presentation was the extended context; it's a reminder that this was a century ago, in the middle of WWI. Overloading ships with explosives was just one of the many extremities of the time. Also, the blame-game had not yet grown to its full strength and vitality by this time, they had other things to worry about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlok View Post
I think the coincidence of there being the same firm in Halifax, England and Halifax, Canada is just too great. I think it was just more sloppy research.
My reservation is in calling something "sloppy research" based on a few Internet searches of my own. The words, "pot" and "kettle" start pop into my mind. It seems likely that it was a mistake, but that's as far as I'm willing to go* without spending more time on it.

* On this particular element of the book, several other details panned out as accurate according to my own sloppy research checks. The "VAD" error is more obvious and less excusable.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:54 PM   #82
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I am posting to say I read this book for the record. My reading pace significantly slowed once I read the posts in this thread. Despite the flaws I am glad to have learned of this important history.
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