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

by Steven Ujifusa

Hardcover, 2012

Status

Available

Call number

623.8092

Collection

Publication

Simon & Schuster (2012), Edition: 1st, 448 pages

Description

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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member starkravingmad
Given the very narrow topic of the book, one would (fearfully) expect a boring narrative on ships. Instead, the author has delivered a highly engaging and informative story of the great age of ocean liners, and one man and one ship in particular. The first half of the book is the build-up to the
Show More
triumph of the "United States", the (arguably) most graceful and fastest cruise liner ever built. Even if you're not a fan of ships, cruises or even the water for that matter, it's a wonderful, heart warming, yet bitter-sweet story. Well worth a read. It's made me want to join the conservation society.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Shrike58
The title of this book is very much truth in advertising, as one gets the life story of the great American naval architect William Francis Gibbs and his dream to see the greatest ocean liner in the world fly the American flag; the dream being realized in the form of the S.S. "United States." Much
Show More
of this story is a parable of salvage, as Gibbs preserved his dreams after his father's business interests collapsed, and molded himself into the sort of person who could achieve his dreams. This is also a history of the pursuit of the so-called "Blue Riband;" the international competition to build the fastest North Atlantic liner in the world. This book makes it very clear that this was the sort of race one only pursued with a national government at one's back, as many of these efforts were really not cost effective; particularly after such body blows to the industry as the suppression of mass migration to the United States, World War I, and the Great Depression. If I have a particular gripe it's that Ujifusa does becomes bogged down in personal anecdote at times, but this is still a good introduction to a bygone time and a great American technologist.
Show Less

Awards

Athenaeum Literary Award (Winner — 2012)

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2012

Physical description

448 p.; 9.25 inches

ISBN

1451645074 / 9781451645071
Page: 0.2745 seconds