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Mighty Fitz

The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

2012
Author:

Michael Schumacher

Mighty Fitz

A moving account of the legendary Great Lakes shipwreck

In Mighty Fitz, Michael Schumacher relates in vivid detail the story of the colossal ore carrier the Edmund Fitzgerald. A fitting tribute to one of the largest ships to have sailed the Great Lakes and the men who tragically lost their lives, Mighty Fitz provides a comprehensive look at the most legendary shipwreck on America’s inland waters.

A thoroughly admirable addition to Great Lakes history.

Booklist

The Edmund Fitzgerald, a colossal ore carrier, had been fighting her way through a pounding November storm on Lake Superior. Then the Fitz’s radar went out, and she started to take on water. Despite gale-force winds and thirty-foot seas, there was no reason to think the Fitz wouldn’t find safe harbor at Whitefish Point, Michigan. The last words from the Fitz’s captain, Ernest McSorley, were “We are holding our own.” By all indications, the crew had no idea they were in mortal danger before they plunged to Lake Superior’s bottom with no chance to call for help.

Michael Schumacher relates in vivid detail the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, her many years on the waters of the Great Lakes, the fateful final day, the search efforts and investigation, as well as the speculation and controversy that followed in the wake of the disaster. A fitting tribute to one of the largest ships to have sailed the Great Lakes and the men who tragically lost their lives, Mighty Fitz provides a comprehensive look at the most legendary shipwreck on America’s inland waters.

Awards

Michigan Notable Books List

Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association

Mighty Fitz

A lifelong resident of the Great Lakes region, Michael Schumacher is the author of twelve books, including biographies of Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs, and Eric Clapton, and the award-winning Wreck of the Carl D. He has written twenty-five documentaries on Great Lakes shipwrecks and lighthouses.

Mighty Fitz

A thoroughly admirable addition to Great Lakes history.

Booklist

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

Perhaps the most complete account of [the Edmund Fitzgerald’s] demise. Strongly recommended.

Library Journal

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. A rewarding narrative.

Publishers Weekly

A fastidious history of loss at sea, for casual reader and maritime maven alike.

Kirkus

A fitting tribute to one of the largest ships to have sailed the Great Lakes and the men who tragically lost their lives.

Cook County News-Herald

Mighty Fitz

UMP blog - Compelling tales of shipwrecks remind us that Mother Nature tends to have the last say—particularly in November

Every November, my thoughts turn to the Great Lakes and the historic storms that have claimed so many boats during this month. I’ve lived near Lake Michigan for all but four years of my life, and I have seen how quickly and forcefully waves are whipped up, especially by late-fall nor’easters that send water and spray crashing over the rocks near shore. Whenever I see this, I always have the same thought: if the lake is this rough so close to shore, where the seas are breaking up, I’d hate to be out in the middle of the lake, where waves can be so huge that they crash over the rails of vessels unfortunate enough to be caught out in a storm.

Read the full article.