The John Batchelor Show

Sunday 23 December 2012

Air Date: 
December 23, 2012


Sunday 905PM Eastern (605P Pacific): How to Survive the Titanic by Frances Wilson (Kindle Edition -Oct 18, 2011) - Kindle eBook

Frances Wilson was educated at Oxford University and lectured on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature for fifteen years before becoming a full-time writer. Her books include Literary Seductions: Compulsive Writers and Diverted Readers and The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Life, which won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. She reviews widely in the British press and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She divides her time between London and Normandy.

Titanic departing Southhampton, April 1912.

Sunday 920PM Eastern (620P Pacific)How to Survive the Titanic by Frances Wilson (Kindle Edition -Oct 18, 2011) - Kindle eBook

“Persuasive…examines the disaster afresh through the prism of Ismay’s life…Ultimately, Wilson’s portrait-empathetic rather than sympathetic-depicts Ismay as an Everyman troublingly suited to our own uncertain times.” (BusinessWeek )

Sunday 935PM Eastern (635P Pacific): How to Survive the Titanic by Frances Wilson (Kindle Edition -Oct 18, 2011) - Kindle eBook

“Wilson herself casts a Conradian spell…finds submerged truths, unravels riddles, listens to echoes. This book is a deep reading of the catastrophe through one hapless, inert man.” (Hermione Eyre, Evening Standard )

Sunday 950PM Eastern (650P Pacific): How to Survive the Titanic by Frances Wilson (Kindle Edition -Oct 18, 2011) - Kindle eBook



Sunday 1005PM EDT (705P Pacific): Special Presentation at the New York Public Library: with Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy by Charles Pellegrino (Kindle Edition -Jan 27, 2012) - Kindle eBook; and The Titanic For Dummies (For Dummies (History, Biography & Politics) by Stephen J. Spignesi (Feb 1, 2012)

Sunday 1020PM EDT (720P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 2 of 8.

"Pellegrino has completed his twenty-five-year journey of Titanic exploration with this deeply detailed book that looks the horror and chaos of that disaster square in the eye, with human insights not previously brought to light. Pellegrino really is the king of connect-the-dots."
James Cameron, Academy Award-winning director of Titanic

Sunday 1035PM EDT (735P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 3 of 8.

Sunday 1050PM EDT (750P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 4 of 8.

Sunday 1105PM EDT (805P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 5 of 8.

The Titanic For Dummies paints the whole picture of the most famous maritime disaster. It examines the building of the ship, life onboard during its maiden voyage, tragic decisions made that fateful night, the discovery of the wreck, and the many controversies that have emerged in the century since the sinking. Information includes:

  • Theories behind the reason for the sinking (does the blame lie with the watertight doors, bad rivets, or crew negligence?), and when and where the ship split in two.
  • A detailed look at how the lack of lifeboats — and the chaos that resulted in lifeboats launching before they reached capacity — resulted in lives lost.
  • A Titanic “Who’s Who” identifying notable passengers, including those who were famous before the tragedy and those who gained fame because of it.
  • Current thinking about reports of shots being fired onboard, the details of Captain Smith’s death, Murdoch’s possible suicide, and the band’s last song.
  • Findings from the Titanic hearings on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • A recounting of Robert Ballard’s discovery of the wreck in 1985 and the ongoing debate over whether to salvage the wreck or let the ship remain as a memorial to those who perished.
  • A glimpse of the most fascinating artifacts salvaged from the wreckage.
  • The Titanic in pop culture: from Broadway to one of the most highest grossing movies in history (being re-released in 3D in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary).

Sunday 1120PM EDT (820P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 6 of 8.

Sunday 1135PM EDT (835P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 7 of 8.

Sunday 1150PM EDT (850P Pacific): Pellegrino and Spignesi. 8 of 8.


Sunday/Mon 1205AM EDT (905 Pacific): Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From by Richard Davenport-Hines (Mar 6, 2012)

As the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic nears, expect a rush of books and articles. As before, it is likely that many of them will inflate the historical importance of the disaster, imparting meaning where none exists. Hines, a biographer and journalist, pays the usual homage to these efforts by stressing the class divisions aboard ship and the illusions of technological supremacy shattered by the power of nature. He offers interesting explanations of the formation of icebergs, ship design, and the nature of transatlantic travel. His account rises above most others in his concentration upon those who died and those who survived what was, after all, a vast collection of individual human tragedies. He describes individuals from each of three designated classes of travel. Although we learn little new about the superrich in first class, Hines avoids taking cheap shots at them. The vignettes covering those in second and third class are especially moving, as Hines stresses the hopes of many to begin a new life in America. This is a well-done and creative retelling of a still-riveting story. --Jay Freeman

Sunday/Mon 1220AM EDT (920 Pacific): Davenport-Hines 2 of 4.

“This intelligent book focuses not on the ship so much as its passengers. Bolstered by photographs of the people who built, staffed, sailed on and survived the Titanic, Davenport-Hines finds a slew of new points of view from which to scan history.” (Denver Post )

Sunday/Mon 1235AM EDT (935P Pacific): Davenport-Hines 3 of 4.

“An astonishing work, of meticulous research, which allows us to know, in painful detail, the men and women on that fateful voyage. Even now, a hundred years later, Mr. Davenport-Hines finds a new, and heart-breaking, story to tell.” (Julian Fellowes, Creator and Executive Producer of "Downtown Abbey" )

Sunday/Mon 1250AM EDT (950P Pacific): Davenport-Hines 4 of 4.

“The story of the Titanic has been told many times; this one takes a sociological perspective, with the confident, graceful prose of fine fiction.” (Wall Street Journal )

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Music (based on Eastern Daylight Time broadcast)

9-hour:  Titanic   ;  10-hour: Downtown Abbey ;  11-hour: Downtown Abbey;  midnight hour: Titanic.