I love Chicago and anything to do with the history of the city and its people are of immediate interest to me. When I toss around podcast ideas one of them is always a history of events that took place in the city. So, when I saw this E-ARC was available I jumped at it. Reading it I had the same feeling that I had walking into the movie Titanic. You know what’s going to happen and yet here you are anyway ready to watch in horror. In this case, it was read in horror. I’ve walked the riverfront hundreds of times and I’m pretty sure I won’t look at all those touristy boats going by the same way again.
For those of you not familiar with the SS Eastland I’ll give you a brief synopsis from the publisher:
On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, filled to capacity with 2,500 passengers and crew, capsized in the Chicago River while still moored to the pier. Happy picnic-goers headed for an employee outing across Lake Michigan suddenly found themselves in a struggle for their lives. Trapped below decks, crushed by the crowds attempting to escape the rising waters, or hurled into the river from the upper deck of the ship, roughly one-third of the passengers, mostly women, and children, perished that day.
Maybe don’t hand this one off to the sensitive reader, although there isn’t anything gory or sensationalized in the content. The story is perfect for discussion though. Why don’t more people know about this tragedy? Are events too horrible to think about pushed out of our collective memory? How would this event be covered by the press today in the 24/7 news cycle?
Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from Edelweiss+ without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Capsized!: The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster by Patricia Sutton