The Empress of Ireland passenger liner collided with the Norwegian collier Storstad in the St. Lawrence River on a foggy night in May 1914, sinking in 14 minutes and claiming the lives of 1,012 people. This is the story of the survivors and the government inquiry into Canada's worst maritime disaster. It is based on the actual testimony of witnesses at the Commission of Inquiry, which was presided over by Lord Mersey, the gruff and opinionated British jurist and politician. Lord Mersey had led the investigation into the Titanic and the later Lusitania disasters, but was sorely tested by the Empress Inquiry. It tells the story of the ruined captain of the passenger liner, the woman who survived the disaster and tried unsuccessfully to claim the body of her disfigured son, the Rimouski fisherman whose job was to search the debris field for the bodies of the victims, the Norwegians who were quickly condemned by the press, the shysters and wagon-chasers who fraudulently claimed insurance policies on next of kin, and the government inquiry which pitted a multinational transport industry giant against a tiny Norwegian coal-hauling firm.
The Mediterranean Sea is now the deadliest region in the world for migrants. Although the death toll has been rising for many years, the EU response remains fragmented and short sighted. Politicians frame these migration flows as an unprecedented crisis and emphasize migration control at the EU's external boundaries. In this context, At Europe's Edge investigates why the EU prioritizes the fortification of its external borders; why migrants nevertheless continue to cross the Mediterranean and to die at sea; and how EU member states on the southern periphery respond to their new role as migration gatekeepers. The book addresses these questions by examining the relationship between the EU and Malta, a small state with an outsized role in migration politics as EU policies place it at the crosshairs of migration flows and controls. The chapters combine ethnographic methods with macro-level analyses to weave together policymaker, practitioner, and migrant experiences, and demonstrate how the Mediterranean is an important space for the contested construction of 'Europe'. This book provides rich insight into the unexpected level of influence Malta exerts on EU migration governance, as well as the critical role migrants and their clandestine journeys play in animating EU and Maltese migration policies, driving international relations, and producing Malta's political power. By centring on the margins, the book pushes the boundaries of our knowledge of the global politics of migration, asylum, and border security.
Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World's Greatest Library
Author: Edward Wilson-Lee
This impeccably researched and “adventure-packed” (The Washington Post) account of the obsessive quest by Christopher Columbus’s son to create the greatest library in the world is “the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters” (NPR) and offers a vivid picture of Europe on the verge of becoming modern. At the peak of the Age of Exploration, Hernando Colón sailed with his father Christopher Columbus on his final voyage to the New World, a journey that ended in disaster, bloody mutiny, and shipwreck. After Columbus’s death in 1506, eighteen-year-old Hernando sought to continue—and surpass—his father’s campaign to explore the boundaries of the known world by building a library that would collect everything ever printed: a vast holding organized by summaries and catalogues; really, the first ever database for the exploding diversity of written matter as the printing press proliferated across Europe. Hernando traveled extensively and obsessively amassed his collection based on the groundbreaking conviction that a library of universal knowledge should include “all books, in all languages and on all subjects,” even material often dismissed: ballads, erotica, news pamphlets, almanacs, popular images, romances, fables. The loss of part of his collection to another maritime disaster in 1522, set off the final scramble to complete this sublime project, a race against time to realize a vision of near-impossible perfection. “Magnificent…a thrill on almost every page” (The New York Times Book Review), The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books is a window into sixteenth-century Europe’s information revolution, and a reflection of the passion and intrigues that lie beneath our own insatiable desires to bring order to the world today.
Likewise in Inventions for the Rescue of Human Life from Drowning by Breaking of the Ice, and from Houses Enveloped in Flames; with Appeals to the British Public to Unite and Resist the Insulting Threat of Invasion; Also, for Repressing the Arrogant Papal Assumption for Disturbing the Established Religion of the Country