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When the Dancing Stopped: The Real Story of the Morro Castle Disaster and Its Deadly Wake

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9780743280082: When the Dancing Stopped: The Real Story of the Morro Castle Disaster and Its Deadly Wake
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Documents the story of the luxury liner that burned off the coast of New Jersey in 1934, drawing on previously classified FBI reports and first-person survivor interviews to reveal how the Morro Castle's captain died under mysterious circumstances seven hours before the ship caught fire and how many of the crew abandoned ship, leaving passengers to fend for themselves. 40,000 first printing.

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About the Author:
Brian Hicks is a general assignment writer with The Post and Courier. He was named South Carolina Press Assiciation Journalist of the Year in 1998.
From Publishers Weekly:
The Morro Castle, a luxurious cruise ship, inexplicably caught fire on September 8, 1934, off the New Jersey coast on its way back from Havana. The blaze spread so quickly that many lifeboats were burned, and at least 134 passengers (out of 318) perished. Hicks (Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine) re-creates this incident in a page-turning chronicle. The cause was never determined, but drawing on official records, first-person accounts and recently declassified FBI documents, Hicks makes a convincing case that the fire was set by a crew member. Shortly before the fire, the ship's captain died mysteriously of an apparent heart attack and was succeeded by William Warms. Hicks details how Warms's agitation and indecision made the disaster worse: he neglected, for one thing, to turn his ship away from an impending nor'easter, whose wind further whipped the flames. Hicks has done a lot of research, but it never weighs down the narrative, which draws the reader in from the get-go. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Oct. 24)
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