Wreck of the Medusa: The Tragic Story of the Death Raft

Wreck of the Medusa The Tragic Story of the Death Raft In July a French frigate ran aground on a sandbar forty miles off the coast of Africa Forced to abandon ship men and women embarked on an overloaded makeshift raft After twelve days of rio

  • Title: Wreck of the Medusa: The Tragic Story of the Death Raft
  • Author: Alexander McKee
  • ISBN: 9780451200440
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Paperback
  • In July, 1816, a French frigate ran aground on a sandbar forty miles off the coast of Africa Forced to abandon ship, 150 men and women embarked on an overloaded makeshift raft After twelve days of riots, mutiny, murder, and, ultimately, cannibalism, only fifteen were alive.

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    • Best Download [Alexander McKee] ✓ Wreck of the Medusa: The Tragic Story of the Death Raft || [Classics Book] PDF ✓
      455 Alexander McKee
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      Published :2019-02-17T23:14:46+00:00

    About "Alexander McKee"

    1. Alexander McKee

      Alexander McKee was no yes man , he dared to criticise many military, political, economic, media and academic icons and he always kept an open mind He was fanatical about making his works as accurate as he possibly could He was ever alert to plain wrong, biased, distorted or sloppy reports and hidden agendas wickedly delighting the so as a self educated man in criticising and exposing assertions that did not fit the evidence Among his targets were those who tended to emphasise media image managment, the accumulation of personal wealth and career progression over both personal integrity and respect for other people s contributions He gleefully highlighted all the many lapses of integrity that he found Equally, many established experts, often highly educated people and indeed experts regarding the theoretical aspects of their disciplines, but whom he considered scandalously remiss when they complacently failed to complement such theoretical understanding with practical knowledge as a way to test their theories empirically Consequently, some of them came in for some harsh criticism on occasion One gets the impression from his work that some of them appeared reluctant to venture outside the academy at all out into the real world let alone to mix with ordinary people Implicitly, he urged them to converse with the fishermen, the builders, the soldiers, the doctors, the nurses, the shipwrights and the firemen to glean practical understanding from these practical people, who had to be willing and able to carry out the ultimate tests on their theories to provide demonstably working solutions in order to fulfill their typical working roles Then he urges such experts in the theory to re test their theories against the empirically derived knowledge gleaned from their excursions among the working classes, and to do so conjunction with their own senses, out in the real world rather than limiting themselves and risking their reputations on the results of thought experiments alone He dug deep into eye witness testimonies and spent countless hours searching libraries and museums for the documentary evidence surrounding each his story One may find this slightly comical that viewed against the background of established caricaturisations, when the elevated pillars of wisdom , went building castles in the air around about the ivory towers and he found strong contradictory real world evidence he often lambasted them mercilessly, although it does sometimes seem to be overdone In contrast, he made the point that some of the sloppy documentary historical works such as that of Sir Robert Davis, that temporarily led his own research astray and much to his annoyance caused him to repeat untruths in public lectures while causing the propagation of serious errors until he uncovered them, were nevertheless probably a consequence of the pressures of work, owing to the high quality of the rest of the publication.

    741 thoughts on “Wreck of the Medusa: The Tragic Story of the Death Raft”

    1. Originally published in 1974, this is a harrowing account of the grounding of the frigate Medusa off the coast of Africa and the abandonment of the ship by its 400 passengers and crew in seven boats and a poorly-built raft. McKee tells the story in a straightforward way, and he deftly moves the reader from boat to boat as his narrative shifts locations. The book is a page-turner up until the last few chapters. The plight of the raft is gut-wrenching, and the actions of those who should have been [...]


    2. Insane story. Before diving into this book, it would help to familiarize yourself with the colonization of Senegal throughout the early 1800s. There were no citations in the paperback copy I read. McKee tended to dwell on uninteresting facts without providing a vivid narrative of the story. Not to say the book isn't well written - it is, but many climactic events seem to come out of nowhere thanks to the bland writing style. The entire story of the Medusa ends halfway through the book. The rest [...]


    3. An absolutely fascinating and harrowing book describing the true story of something that even the most imaginative Hollywood screenwriter could not invent. I completely disagree with some of the previous comments that the latter portions of the book are irrelevant or filler. I think it is perfectly normal and appropriate to try and make sense of the psychological aspects of what happened on the raft by comparing it to subsequent scenarios. One of the most disturbing aspects of the book is the tu [...]


    4. 2.5 Stars I love a good survival story, and this one is certainly up there, but I wish the author had done a better job with it. The story (not the author's fault) is so frustrating as an incompetent captain runs his ship aground off of West Africa, and then leaves a raft with 150 survivors on it behind. Only 14 men survive. I was worried when right off the bat when the author dated a major naval battle of the French Revolution 10 years early. My main problem with the book was that the author ha [...]


    5. This book tells the true story of a notorious shipwreck. In 1816, the frigate Medusa left France with close to 400 passengers and sailors for the colony of Senegal on the west coast of Africa. Through an amazing display of incompetence, the ship ran aground on a known sandbar about 40 miles from shore near where the Sahara Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean. During the ensuing evacuation of the ship, approximately 150 people were abandoned on a makeshift raft that had little chance to make it shore [...]


    6. In July of 1816, a year after the final downfall of Napoleon, a convoy of four French ships were to sail south for a settlement on the African coast that was in the process of being turned over by the English to the French. They were to stay together for safety reasons, even though the ships had different speed capabilities. Certain parts of the African coast was (and still is) largely uncharted, so ships would sail south well away from the coast to avoid shallows and reefs. But a combination of [...]


    7. This is an astonishing tale. Nowadays the general public is inundated with heroic stories and actions to the point of seeming routine, but heroism is not commonplace and there is no better light than throwing courageous actions in contrast to their opposite. The tale of the Medusa is an excellent reminder that cowardice, incompetence, and indifference all retain their place in the human condition. This is a must-read for Francophiles, Mariners, those acquainted with Senegal, and would-be leaders [...]


    8. This book is an interesting take on a story I was completely unfamiliar with, the fate of the Medusa. A harrowing shipwreck tail. The actual story of the how and what is included in the first half of this book the last half being mostly made up of aftermath, specifically the politics -- this was certainly the least enjoyable portion of this book. In the last chapters of the book the author takes on, surprisingly, two other aspects of the tale of the Medusa that I thought would also be boring (as [...]


    9. Interesting book, based on true history of the French ship the Medusa, who set sail in 1816 from France to the port of Senegal to reclaim the settlement from the British. The Medusa led a small fleet.The story is hard to imagine, as the Medusa's captain was not competent, he took navigation advise from a fraudulent individual, and eventually sank the ship miles off the west coast of Africa.The resulting tail is one of bad decisions, irresponsibility, and the horrible misery of those lost at sea. [...]


    10. Can't help myself. My mom recommended it. She knows me too wellAre you inexplicably drawn to stories that depict horrific human suffering? Do you enjoy reading about pompous and incompetent French naval commanders getting their comeuppance? Are you intrigued by tragedies that influence art movements? Are you disgusted by French colonialism in Africa and the havoc it wreaked in the 19th century? If you answered YES to any of these questionsI loved every minute of this book with the exception of t [...]


    11. This book started out as a fascinating and thorough portrayal of the tragic shipwreck of the Medusa. The author is careful to discuss not only the political intrigue, but also the physical factors that led to the tragedy. But the second half of the book is taken up with a much more didactic accounting of every mention of the Medusa in art, a detailing of the courts martial resulting from the captain's actions, and even similar events in more recent history. In itself, this is not enough to turn [...]


    12. A disaster that didn't have to happen; a ship's command that had been chosen according to political connections, not practical experience, hubris in ignoring the navigation advice of sailors, and a panicked, not reasoned, abandon-ship order that cast 150 passengers and crew into what became a barely-floating cage match. Crew that chose to stay on board the stricken ship passed their days comfortably, unaware that they'd dodged a deadly and horrific ordeal floating just beyond their view.A stunni [...]


    13. I was a little worried that a book devoted to documenting and analyzing a horrific shipwreck off the coast of the SAhara desert would be very explicit and repulsive, but it was a very good read that left the repugnant details a bit off the page and also delved unexpectedly into the aftermath and a short history the famous painting by Théodore Géricault that captured the scene for all times. McKee also compared modern equivalents in search of the answer to his question of whether the Medusa Raf [...]


    14. McKee paints a portrait of how devastating poor leadership can be. His nonfiction account of the tragedy of the medusa details the many mistakes made and how easily so many deaths could have been prevented. Overall a good book, however, the last several chapters should have been written as an essay to be read along side the book. They were irrelevant to the actual case of the Medusa and were more of minor history lessons and comparisons rather than about the tragedy itself.


    15. well written account, very informative. didn't emotionalize or sensationalize, presented nice study of what happened. It covered the various surviving groups and I agree jumped a bit from one to other making it a bit difficult to follow. The aftermath showed the attempts to suppress or blame the wrong people. I am glad to read such stories as there is a lot of courage in the survivors not just for surviving event but for battling for truth afterwards.


    16. A very interesting bookFound the story a fascinating study in human nature under duress. The politics that caused the wreck and the public reaction to the events the survivors had gone through. Also a good follow up research into simular modern day events that helped explained the behavior of the victims.


    17. This includes more detail than Savigny & Corréard's first-hand account of the wreck and the raft, but I was frustrated by the lack of sources. The writing style is also too melodramatic for my taste. The final chapters, about how people reacted to similar events in more recent history, didn't hook into the rest of the book, which made for a choppy ending.


    18. Seemed like there were just too many things going on at the same time and not put together all that well, which made the book less enjoyable than I had hoped. There is a lot compeling here---shipwreck, post-revolutionary and Post-Napoleon adjustments, colonialism, art, scandal, etc but it just wasn't well told.


    19. another low cost ebook. ( check out bookgorilla and bookbub) I was interested in this because of Gericault's incredible painting about it. It is a story of the very worse and best in human beings. I now have more info I can share with my art history students. And to think it all could have been avoided.


    20. At first I wasn't sure I'd like this writing style, it was a bit disjointed. But then, it was a translation into English, and as I read on, it flowed better. Great story, I know I loved it, but have read a few books in betweenWhat I really need to do is write about the book the day I finish it. Yep!


    21. The first two thirds of this book are very good. The story of what happened to the Medusa was fascinating. The last third. not so good. The author blathers on and onabout an artist who painted the wreck, about other events that were similar. It was almost as if the publisher demanded so many words and he was just trying to meet his quota.


    22. This really could have been better with just a bit of characterization. It is hard to follow all of the separate groups because it bounces between them too quickly and also doesn't do a very good job allowing the reader to feel the passage of time.


    23. Very goodExcellent - can't believe this is a true story. I really liked how the author made comparisons to other modern situations with similar results. Very highly recommend if you like crazy historical books.


    24. So what eventually became of M. Richeforte? I think everyone else was accounted for. I think this was pretty well written. I also liked the other two shipwrecks described in the end chapters, but the hostages in the airplanes should have been left off, I feel.


    25. I had heard of the Medusa and the painting of the wrath as well but was not real familiar with the details. This book filled in the gaps and was a fascinating account of a sad and scandalous shipwreck. Non-fiction at its best and a perfect read for the weekend at the cottage.


    26. Amazing example of what happens in a survival situation without leadership. And how wrong this can go when people drink wine instead of water.


    27. A groundbreaking tale of cannibalism and it's non-fiction. I love the history and the psychology. It inspired me to look for the painting in the Louvre called the Raft of the Medusa. Fascinating.


    28. Exciting saga of shipwreck caused by inept leadership. Included several related historical stories to analyze effects of such experiences




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