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Dead Wake
The enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania by #1 New York Times...
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How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

Created: 03/20/16

Replies: 5

Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War? Would Wilson have abandoned his isolationist stance without the Lusitania tragedy? Do you think Germany and Mexico could have succeeded in conquering the American Southwest?


Posted Mar. 23, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianec

Join Date: 03/15/12

Posts: 21

RE: How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

Personally, I love "what ifs." And Larson's commitment to detailed analysis kept me engaged. What if the fog...what if the torpedo failed...what if Turner had not had to wait...all very interesting and well thought out. Ultimately, it's like a puzzle game though. Ultimately, pretty much everything can be attributed to "a chance confluence of forces."


Posted Mar. 24, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jwbriggs13

Join Date: 05/09/12

Posts: 33

RE: How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

I agree with dianec. The "what-ifs" make Larson's narrative even more powerful. We all live in the world of chance encounters and just-missed opportunities. Since we readers know from the very beginning that the Lusitania was sunk, the "what-ifs" shine a light on how even a seemingly small thing happening in a different way or not at all might have changed the fate of the Lusitania and her passengers and crew.


Posted Mar. 31, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 60

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RE: How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

Hmm, having just returned from the American Southwest it was interesting to think about certain areas having been restored to Mexico if there had been a successful alliance with WWI Germany. We surely would have gone into battle at that point--have you seen the precious metal open mines in that region??? But, I agree, hindsight is always a fun game to play.


Posted Apr. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ylhoff

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 56

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RE: How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

I found the what-ifs to be very frustrating. I had to keep reminding myself that this happened in the past! I wonder, if we take this situation and apply it to the world we live in now, could we be more aware of the potential for missed opportunities? Could we be more aware of a bigger picture and not just our small part of the daily play? This in depth look at a catastrophe that could have been avoided is highly relevant today.


Posted Apr. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jwbriggs13

Join Date: 05/09/12

Posts: 33

RE: How did you respond to the many what-ifs that Larson raises about U.S. involvement in the Great War?

I think they give the book additional depth. Then as now, events follow paths that but for a different decision here, a delay of a few minutes there etc. could change the outcome. I was having these "what if" thoughts as I read the book and appreciated Larson's "what ifs".


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