Titanic: The Canadian Story by Alan Hustak (Véhicule Press) offers a Canadian spin on the 130 passengers aboard the Titanic who were bound for Canada when the great ship went down. With the exception of the overwritten foreword by John P. Eaton, an American Titanic expert, I found this book to be a thorough and well-written document on many of the Canadian angles most American and British publishers have managed to ignore over the last eighty-six years.
Hustak offers poignant commentary on everything from the exclusion of French Canadians from Anglo high society in turn-of-the-century Montreal, to the funeral of George Graham, a buyer with the T. Eaton Company. He also achieves a fine balance between hard facts and the strange and surreal. I have read dozens of Titanic books, yet I never knew Harry Markland Molson, a descendant of the beer family and the richest Canadian aboard the ship, had survived two previous shipwrecks by swimming to safety. Nor did I know that the last body retrieved from the Atlantic, that of Thomson Beattie of Winnipeg, is buried at sea eighty-two years to the year after his mother was born on a transatlantic crossing.
This is a must-read for both Canadian history buffs and Titanic junkies.