On June 15, 1904, when the Gernal Slocum burned, thousands of New Yorkers lined the piers of Manhattan on the East River. They were eyewitnesses to one of the greatest maritime disasters in world history. They listened to the screams of the 1,100 women and children who drowned or were burned alive. James Joyce wrote of the Slocum Disaster in his novel Ulysses. He called the event a holocaust caused by greed and graft. President Theodore Roosevelt sent the Secret Service to uncover the manufacturer who had placed iron bars inside the life vests, which were filled with rotten cork. Why had the Slocum's fire hose burst when the water had been turned on? The President wanted to know. Why were the lifeboats fastened to the decks of the burning Slocum with wire so heavy they were rendered useless to the doomed passengers? The captain of the Slocum was brought to trial, found guilty of criminal negligence, and sent to Sing Sing Prison. Later he was pardoned by President William Howard Taft, who had promised the labor unions he would do so in exchange for their votes. this is the tapestry against which Eric Blau tells the story of the Slocum Disaster and its feisty, foul mouthed hero who, at the age of ninty-five, remembers all as he gives us his account of what really happened. The Hero of the Slocum Disaster is a novel you will always remember-about a boat ride you'll never forget!
Used availability for Eric Blau's The Hero of the Slocum Disaster
January 1997 : Canada Hardback