The Sway of the Grand Saloon: A Social History of the North Atlantic

Finalist, National Book Awards 1972 for History

cover of The Sway of the Grand Saloon A Social History of the North Atlantic by John Malcolm Brinnin
ISBN 9780760720813
Delacorte Press
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John Malcolm Brinnin

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The well deck forward was littered with ice knocked or scooped from the iceberg. But from the point of view of most of the passengers, contact between the ship and the ice was so slight as to be negligible. “I wound my watch—it was 11:45 P.M.,” one of them recalled, “—and was just about to step into bed, when I seemed to sway slightly. I realized that the ship had veered to port as though she had been gently pushed. If I had had a brimful glass of water in my hand not a drop would have been spilled, the shock was so slight.” But, almost as if she had been gutted by a fishhook, the huge starboard hull of the ship was already opened lengthwise. In moments, watertight bulkheads were transformed from bastions of protection against the sea to deadly containers weighted with tons of salt water. —from The Sway of the Grand Saloon, on the Titanic