Item description for Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History by Pierette Domenica Simpson...
Recollections and Revelations! One-half century later, the catastrophic ramming of the MS Stockholm into the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria in July 1956 is relived in this candid, heartrending account. Author and survivor Pierette Domenica Simpson shares the human and technical aspects of what has become known at the "greatest sea rescue in history" and provides the general public, for the first time, with truth about the error that led to the collision.
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Pierette Domenica Simpson was born in northern Italy, near Torino, and immigrated to the United States as a young girl. Fluent in French, Italian, and Spanish, she retired from teaching foreign languages to become an author and speaker. Moreover, Ms. Simpson collaborates with naval architects, shipwreck divers and survivors for the advancement of maritime safety. She is also the gatekeeper of Andrea Doria survivor stories. Her short story of inspiration for transcending tragedies is published in the book series, Thank God I...
Reviews - What do customers think about Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History?
Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History Jul 31, 2008
Ms. Simpson, Thank you for not only the thrilling prose, but also for the objective research you did to compile your book. It is amazingly constructed in so many aspects: the events as they occurred, the human stories from various witnesses, the later lives of some of the passengers. The quotations that highlight all of the chapters are apropos to the text. I like that. The tribute you pay to Captain Calamai, and the later research/investigations done by marine experts as to the cause of the accident, surely vindicate him. Mary Lou Rynski - Michigan
Riveting story of rescue at sea Feb 13, 2008
I am a member of the Detroit Historical Society and other historical organizations and have read many history books. "Alive on the Andrea Doria" is not only an interesting factual presentation of the events of this historic sea collision, but also a well written and riveting drama describing the human emotions and reactions of passengers, crew, rescuers, the anxious families and friends of passengers and crew, news media, and others involved in this tragedy. It is also the author's fascinating personal story of a young girl pulling up roots in Italy, leaving her town, friends, and school behind to come to America, where all was new and different: family, language, food, school, etc. This book is highly recommended for all.
A story of hope, courage and pride for Italian descendants to read Jun 2, 2007
What a wonderful book (and story). I read it straight through and couldn't put it down. The author, Pierette Domenica Simpson, did a marvelous job especially in recanting so many details (sights, sounds, smells) - and I know how hard that is because an author has it all in their mind and memory but putting in the "reader's" mind, well, that's a different story. As a retired Navy pilot and haven't spent most of my life at sea (and in the air) I really enjoyed reading Chapter 10 and Part II in general for it was extremely detailed and complete about the circumstances surrounding the collision. Moreover, as a story teller, Part I was terrific and moving as well. I was especially enamored with the author's experience as an Italian-American and how we share the stories of our families and their courage in coming to a new land to live the American dream. I write of this as well in my latest book, My Father's Compass: Leadership Lessons of an Immigrant Son, found here on [...]. Again, wonderful story with a happy ending and a must read! Perry Martini, My Father's Compass.
A Validating Remembrance Mar 29, 2007
Alive on the Andrea Doria! is a wonderful book. Ms. Simpson, an Andrea Doria survivor, is the new Walter Lord of maritime history. She skillfully uses a wide variety of survivor recollections to retell the story of the sinking of the Andrea Doria, Italy's premier luxury liner in the 1950s, after its collision with the smaller Stockholm. These stories are about a very diverse group of people, both a variety of native Italians settling in the USA and a group of Northern-European-Americans of a variety of backgrounds. Ms. Simpson very frankly and touchingly also shares her own story and developmental history, including the circumstances that led to her and to her maternal grandparents' immigration to the USA on the Doria's final voyage. The second portion of her book details a variety of scientific evidence that explains the sinking of the Andrea Doria from a technical point of view. She provides a strong rehabilitation of the Doria's Captain Calamai, much vilified at the time of the collision, and details frankly the realities of anti-Italian and anti-Italian-American stereotyping that influenced public perceptions of the Andrea Doria disaster.
The book has many strengths. Ms. Simpson includes a great variety of survivor stories, and allows her fellow survivors to tell of their lives in great detail (frankly exceeding the masterful Walter Lord's compelling but very abbreviated depictions of Titanic survivors and victims in A Night to Remember.) She makes an effort to make the technical descriptions of the disaster understandable, she readily acknowledges the influence of her own experience and her own biases on her final text, and she wisely does not translate every word of Italian she presents--this both makes the last moments of the Doria feel more as they actually happened, and is a pleasant challenge for those of us who love the Italian language but are rusty in using same and have to work to self-translate various phrases. Moreover, Ms. Simpson also does a very good job of portraying the symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) suffered by a number of the survivors (at a time when we didn't yet have a formal diagnosis for that syndrome), and the books includes a number of excellent, evocative photographs. Most importantly, Alive on the Andrea Doria! is a validating remembrance, of the lives lost, the lives saved, the experience of Italian-American immigrants, and the tremendous heroism of those involved. Ms. Simpson, with whom I've had the pleasure of corresponding by email, stresses that this was the greatest sea rescue in history, and makes clear that just because the Doria disaster did not claim the massive number of lives that did the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Empress of Ireland tragedies, the loss of the Andrea Doria is still a real and moving drama that should be studied and commemorated. Brava, signora, e mille grazie!
GREAT BOOK!! MUST READ!! Feb 24, 2007
I knew little about the Andrea Doria until I read this book. Pierete Simpson has brought the Andrea Doria back to life with her book. This book was compelling and I truly enjoyed all the individual stories. The amount of research that went into this book is astounding. This book is a testament to human triumph and spirit. I highly recommend it for everyone.