A Man and His Ship by Steven Ujifusa
America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States

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Few of man's creations possess even half the romance of the passenger ships that once steamed across the world's oceans, especially the North Atlantic. That is why Steven Ujifusa's "A Man and His Ship" is such a compelling work.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

THE STORY OF A GREAT AMERICAN BUILDER

At the peak of his power, in the 1940s and 1950s, William Francis Gibbs was considered America’s best naval architect.

His quest to build the finest, fastest, most beautiful ocean liner of his time, the S.S. United States, was a topic of national fascination. When completed in 1952, the ship was hailed as a technological masterpiece at a time when “made in America” meant the best.

Gibbs was an American original, on par with John Roebling of the Brooklyn Bridge and Frank Lloyd Wright of Fallingwater. Forced to drop out of Harvard following his family’s sudden financial ruin, he overcame debilitating shyness and lack of formal training to become the visionary creator of some of the finest ships in history. He spent forty years dreaming of the ship that became the S.S. United States.

William Francis Gibbs was driven, relentless, and committed to excellence. He loved his ship, the idea of it, and the realization of it, and he devoted himself to making it the epitome of luxury travel during the triumphant post–World War II era. Biographer Steven Ujifusa brilliantly describes the way Gibbs worked and how his vision transformed an industry. A Man and His Ship is a tale of ingenuity and enterprise, a truly remarkable journey on land and sea.
 

About Steven Ujifusa

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Steven Ujifusa serves on the Advisory Council of the S.S. United States Conservancy. He received his master’s degree in historic preservation and real estate from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A. in history from Harvard University.
 
Published July 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. 450 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Professional & Technical, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by John Steele Gordon on Aug 17 2012

Few of man's creations possess even half the romance of the passenger ships that once steamed across the world's oceans, especially the North Atlantic. That is why Steven Ujifusa's "A Man and His Ship" is such a compelling work.

Read Full Review of A Man and His Ship: America's... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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