Ashes Under Water The SS Eastland and the Shipwreck that Shook America

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 9/16/2014
  • Publisher: Lyons Press
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Ashes Under Water is the riveting untold story of the 1915 sinking of the SS Eastland, a Lake Michigan excursion boat, which rolled over while tied to its dock, within feet of one the busiest intersections in Chicago’s famed Loop District. Horrified morning commuters watched it all unfold. The final death toll would not come for weeks but would be 835 people, including 21 entire families. The trial would make national headlines and cause public outrage; the effort to bring the guilty ship owners to justice was thwarted by future star lawyer Clarence Darrow. Darrow defended the only true hero of the ship, engineer Joseph Erickson, whose wealthy bosses laid all the blame at his feet. A national disaster and tragedy, a courtroom drama, corrupt businessmen and Chicago politics, and a story of the cost of America’s industrial might all in one gripping story. Author Michael McCarthy takes the reader back one hundred years to the one of the most shocking accidents in American history. But the aftermath and cover-up just may have been even worse.

Author Biography

Michael McCarthy worked for the Wall Street Journal for twenty-two years, first as a reporter and then as an editor on feature stories. He has been published in The Southern Review, among other publications. He has spent twelve years researching the Eastland case. Off and on for more than two decades, Mr. McCarthy has lived in Chicago and now lives in South Haven, Michigan – two places integral to the Eastland story.

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