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The mysterious case of Rudolf Diesel : genius, power, and deception on the eve of World War I  Cover Image Book Book

The mysterious case of Rudolf Diesel : genius, power, and deception on the eve of World War I

Brunt, Douglas (author.).

Summary: "The hidden history of one of the world's greatest inventors, a man who disrupted the status quo and then disappeared into thin air on the eve of World War I--this book answers the hundred-year-old mystery of what really became of Rudolf Diesel. September 29, 1913: the steamship Dresden is halfway between Belgium and England. On board is one of the most famous men in the world, Rudolf Diesel, whose new internal combustion engine is on the verge of revolutionizing global industry forever. But Diesel never arrives at his destination. He vanishes during the night and headlines around the world wonder if it was an accident, suicide, or murder. After rising from an impoverished European childhood, Diesel had become a multi-millionaire with his powerful engine that does not require expensive petroleum-based fuel. In doing so, he became not only an international celebrity but also the enemy of two extremely powerful men: Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and the richest man in the world. The Kaiser wanted the engine to power a fleet of submarines that would finally allow him to challenge Great Britain's Royal Navy. But Diesel had intended for his engine to be used for the betterment of mankind and kept the technology out of the hands of the British or any other nation. For John D. Rockefeller, the engine was nothing less than an existential threat to his vast and lucrative oil empire. As electric lighting began to replace kerosene lamps, Rockefeller's bottom line depended on the world's growing thirst for gasoline to power its automobiles and industries. At the outset of this new age of electricity and oil, Europe stood on the precipice of war. Rudolf Diesel grew increasingly concerned about Germany's rising nationalism and military spending. The inventor was on his way to London to establish a new company that would help Britain improve its failing submarine program when he disappeared. Now, New York Times bestselling author Douglas Brunt reopens the case and provides an astonishing new conclusion about Diesel's fate" --

Item details

  • ISBN: 9781982169909
  • ISBN: 1982169907
  • ISBN: 9781982169923
  • Physical Description: print
    x, 374 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2023.

Contents / Notes

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 345-361) and index.
Formatted Contents Note: Part I: War & oil engines, 1858-1897. An international identity -- A brief stay in London -- A new empire in Europe -- Is anyone truly self-made? -- Petroleum upends the game -- Pursuit of the ideal -- Meant for more than a salary -- Wilhelm II envies a navy -- The birth of diesel power -- Part II: Diesel proliferation, 1897-1910. Lord Kelvin goes first -- A hiccup before the grand prize -- The trappings of success -- A study of the sleeping giant -- "The old house" fights for its life -- The Kaiser adopts "risk theory" -- A place among the armaments of nations -- Dawn of the new era -- Part III: Masterpiece, 1910-1913. Rudolf Diesel breaks ranks -- The admiralty boards the MS Selandina -- Secrets of the first Lord -- The great light to the west -- Rising pressure -- The final months -- SS Dresden: September 29, 1913 -- Part IV: Vanishing act. The world reacts -- The available theories -- Operation Rudolf Diesel -- Fingerprints -- Epilogue: At last.
Subject: Diesel, Rudolf 1858-1913
Inventors Germany Biography
Missing persons Germany History 20th century
Diesel motor History
World War, 1914-1918
Personnes disparues Études de cas
Inventeurs Allemagne 20e siècle Biographies
Moteurs diesel Histoire
Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918
HISTORY / Wars & Conflicts / World War I
Diesel, Rudolf 1858-1913
Diesel motor
Missing persons
Genre: History.

Currently available copies

  • 20 out of 34 copies are currently available at PINES. (Show)
  • 0 out of 1 copy are currently available at Athens Regional Library System.


  • 4 current holds on 34 total copies.
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Library System: Library Branch Name
Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status  
Athens Regional Library System:
      Bogart Library
NONFIC 609.2 BRUNT ( Send Text)
31001006166954 NONFICTION Checked out

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