The disappearance of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains one of the great unsolved mysteries in maritime history. Michael Schumacher relays in vivid detail the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, its many productive years on the waters of the Great Lakes, its tragic demise, the search effort and investigation, as well as the speculation and the controversy that followed in the wake of the disaster.
Michael Schumacher is the author of six books. He has written 25 documentaries on Great Lakes shipwrecks, including three about the Edmund Fitzgerald.
"In his ballad, Mr. Lightfoot sang about the Fitz's final tense moments, when "the waves turn minutes to hours: Now the hours have lengthened into years and years into decades-but the allure of this doomed ship and its missing men remains as strong as ever."-Wall Street Journal
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Great Lakes ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, an event given lasting fame by singer Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," Schumacher recreates both the ship's final trip and the controversies that later eddied about the wreck's cause and the ultimate disposition of ship relics. Schumacher, biographer of Eric Clapton, Francis Ford Coppola and Allen Ginsberg, has also produced 25 documentaries about Great Lakes shipwrecks an indication of his passion. Even as he dissects the rancorous disputes that arose among family members of the dead, historians and others seeking to either memorialize or exploit the shipwreck, Schumacher never fails to bring a sympathetic and knowledgeable view of the story, as well as great respect to the memory of the 29 crew members who died. Although some of the literary devices he employs are formulaic the high school student being called from class to learn of the death of her father, for example Schumacher, aided by his encyclopedic knowledge of Great Lakes shipwrecks and his abiding interest in telling an accurate, unsensationalized story makes them work in a rewarding narrative.