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You’ve probably heard quite a bit about the possible discovery of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria. How do archaeologists go about excavating an underwater find? To find out, dig into the story of another famous ship that fascinates millions around the world to this day – the Titanic. Its maiden journey to the New World was designed as state-of-the-art technological seafaring vessel believed to be unsinkable. However, harsh reality and human arrogance not only took lives of thousands of passengers, but it casted doubt on the infallibility of technological progress, which gave us airplanes, motor cars, and mass communication. Our special guest, bestselling author and historian Hampton Sides, who contributed an article to National Geographic Magazine’s April issue, dedicated to the tragedy, will embark us on a journey of the emerging story of Titanic from the time of its discovery by Robert Ballard in 1985 through recent discoveries made by underwater archaeology and innovative remote sensing techniques, and examine how these discoveries revise the existing interpretations of the wreck.
Hampton Sides is the author of numerous bestselling works of narrative history and is an award-winning contributor to such publications as Outside, National Geographic, and The New Yorker. His 2001 World War II narrative Ghost Soldiers has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Blood and Thunder, his history of Kit Carson and the conquest of the West, was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2007 by Time magazine. Hampton’s most recent bestseller, Hellhound on His Trail, about the hunt for MLK assassin James Earl Ray, is under development with Universal Pictures. A frequent lecturer at universities and literary conferences and a consultant to numerous PBS documentaries, Sides is a fellow of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Edwards Media Program at Stanford, and serves on the board of directors of the Author’s Guild. A native of Memphis and a graduate of Yale, he lives in Santa Fe.