Promising a Better Future, Delivering a Better Present
Huffington Post - 5 months
The British ocean liner R.M.S. Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine on May 7, 1915. As people rushed to the lifeboats, a woman passenger asked the captain what to do. The captain, according to Erik Larson's book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, replied, "Stay right where you are, Madam, she's all right."
That passenger, or another like her, shouted "The Captain says the boat will not sink." The other passengers cheered and went back to their cabins - and to their deaths. 1,198 of the 1,959 passengers aboard the Lusitania died.
Perhaps Captain Turner really believed his magnificent ship could not be sunk by a single German torpedo, or perhaps he was trying to prevent a deadly stampede. Either way it was a false hope he offered to the Lusitania's passengers, a false hope that may have killed hundreds.
False hope is not limited to disaster scenarios. In a feature for The New York Times Magazine, Mark Lebovich writes that talk-show host Larry King intends to
Huffington Post article