Jake
Jake asked:

Is this book reputable? In other words, I know Larson is an author/journalist and not, this is not a remark upon him or his character, a historian. Can anyone vouch for the historical authenticity of this book?

Connie Schuchard Larson is known to do extensive research before writing his book. He reads letters and diaries and gets access to material others might not have seen before. I can't remember but it seems to me that there was a bibliography of materials he used for his research at the end of the book. I also saw several interviews with him and a book talk on CSpan. I am a retired librarian and I was impressed with his research. He doesn't actually say that the British could have prevented the tragedy but he presents the facts and allows one to draw their own conclusion. He uses much primary source material such as diaries and letters and first hand accounts. To decide how much of what Larson wrote is true, you should go to your library and the Internet and start reading accounts of the sinking at the time it was sunk. That information is available in libraries and some of it might even be on the Internet. You could also read accounts of the sinking in other books written about this incident. What Larson does that other writers often do not do is go into great detail about the passengers, their lives before the trip, their reason for making the trip, the captain's history, the history and personality of the submarine captain etc. His books, to me, read like Fiction although I know that they are truly non Fiction. I am sure his books are read by other historians and by reviewers of historical works. To my knowledge, no one has been critical of his facts. Many were quick to point out some plagairism in other historical works so I am sure if they were suspicious of poor or sloppy research or felt he had invented some of the things that happened in the book, they would be quick to point that out to the media.
Randy I don't know if I can vouch for the authenticity of the book since I've not seen the records that the author was able to get access to - however, if he is lying about any of the details he puts into the book, then he would easily be found out by others that might gain access to the records, and/or by the custodians of those records. Just because someone might not be known strictly as a historian does not disqualify them from having talent to tell the truth. Some of the greatest works about history are written by journalists - for example, Woodward/Bernstein's expose' on Watergate...
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by Erik Larson (Goodreads Author)
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