A Man and His Ship: America’s Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the SS United States

Steven Ujifusa, Author
Steven Ujifusa. Simon & Schuster, $29.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4507-1
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 07/10/2012
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4516-4508-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0987-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5987-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3987-1
Paperback - 437 pages - 978-1-4516-4509-5
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In his debut, Ujifusa harks back to a time when men were men, and transatlantic ships were serious business. Over the span of a century, he examines the life and career of William Francis Gibbs (1886–1967), the Philadelphia native whose lifelong ambition was to build the biggest, fastest, safest liner ever. Ujifusa places everything into context as he breathes life into a golden age of ocean travel, invoking such storied names as Titanic, Lusitania, Leviathan, Queen Mary, and America. He follows Gibbs’s monomania over decades and through trials and tribulations, slowly building a picture of the era through the accomplishments of its movers and shakers. During WWII, Gibbs designed the most technologically advanced destroyer of its time. All of this leads up to Gibbs’s finest creation, the SS United States, which, in 1952, set speed records and took the prestigious Blue Riband back for America after nearly a century. Written with passion and thoroughness, this is a love letter to a bygone time and the ships that once ruled the seas. 32 pages of b&w photos. Agent: David Kuhn and Billy Kingsland, Kuhn Projects. (July)
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