The Trial of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Eyewitness accounts from the U.S. Coast Guard hearings, edited by Michael Schumacher, University of Minnesota Press.

The Trial Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Michael Schumacher

It’s been more than 44 years since the Edmund Fitzgerald went down while traversing Lake Superior during a fierce November storm, and today it remains one of the great unsolved maritime mysteries.

But Wisconsin-based author Michael Schumacher—author of Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (2010), along with several other books about Great Lakes shipwrecks—continues to mine the historical record in an effort to provide the reading public with a deeper understanding of what happened to the Fitzgerald that fateful day in 1975.

Thanks to “The Trial of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” readers are privy to the thoughts of crew members of other ships, not to mention ship designers, inspectors, naval engineers and search & rescue personnel, all of whom provided their perspective to investigators in the wake of the accident.

As such, “The Trial of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is probably most useful as a companion to the above-referenced 2010 book, as the photographs and selected quotes add color to Schumacher’s narrative exploration of the Edmund Fitzgerald story.

But because the general arc of the Fitzgerald story is so well-known—thanks in part to Gordon Lightfoot’s popular song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald—this new book might also serve as a stand-alone introduction to the Fitzgerald story, one that is likely to prompt newly-initiated readers to further explore the mystery, as well as the circumstances surrounding other Great Lakes shipwrecks, like the sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and the losses suffered during the infamous Great Lakes Storm of 1913.