Books: Disaster of the Century

DOWN TO ETERNITY (191 pp.)—Richard O'Connor—Gold Medal Books (35¢).

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (209 pp.)—Walter Lord—Holt ($3.50).

Dim moon-eyed fishes near

Gaze at the gilded gear,

And query, "What does this vaingloriousness down here?"

Thus Thomas Hardy on the sinking of R.M.S. Titanic, on the night of April 14, 1912, with the loss of more than 1,500 men, women and children. Writers, long fascinated by the Titanic disaster, have never been content to leave the last word with the fish.

There have since been greater disasters in the two world wars, but the Titanic continues to...

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