A Man and His Ship

A Man and His Ship

America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the SS United States

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
A Harvard-educated historian and advisor to the S.S. United States Conservancy documents the story of innovative ship designer William Francis Gibbs, describing the breakthroughs that enabled him to craft high-performance ships of unprecedented versatility. 50,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

Documents the story of innovative ship designer William Francis Gibbs, describing the breakthroughs that enabled him to craft high-performance ships of unprecedented versatility.

Simon and Schuster
In the tradition of David McCullough’s grand histories, the sweeping story of one man’s quest to build the fastest, finest ocean liner in history—set against the politics, culture, and enterprise of twentieth century America.

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.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451645071
1451645074
Branch Call Number: 623.8092 Uj5m
Characteristics: x, 437 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm

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jswolfmcguire
Aug 13, 2012

I sailed back from Europe at the age of ten in 1963 on the SS United States, after a family trip of a lifetime for 2 months. This was a magnificent ship, even in tourist class. What made it more exciting was we sailed through the worst storm since D-Day on the North Atlantic---that's what a crewmember told my ex-Marine Pacific veteran Dad as we approached New York. Which gave me a healthy respect for seasickness! The ship is now in drydock in Philadelphia, awaiting funds to be restored---look at ssusconservancy@gmail.com to contribute to save this great American symbol.

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