“A terrific book! By entertaining, informing and ultimately inspiring, A Man and His Ship transforms its readers into passengers traveling across an ocean and through time. A skilled verbal navigator, Steven Ujifusa has charted an efficient and yet immensely satisfying course through a sea of facts, images and stories.”
(David Macaulay, best-selling author of Cathedral, Castle, and The Way Things Work)
Steven Ujifusa has done something remarkable in his book, A Man and His Ship: he has brought back an era of American dominance in shipbuilding through the life of one of its giants: William Francis Gibbs. In some ways, Gibbs was the Steve Jobs of his era – a perfectionist with few people skills who nevertheless was single-handedly able to change his industry by the power of his vision and overwhelming professional competence. We need more public historians like Ujifusa working in business history. Using the highest research standards, he has written a great book that tells great story.
(G. Richard Shell, Thomas Gerrity Professor, The Wharton School of Business and author of Bargaining for Advantage)
“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.”
(John Steele Gordon The Wall Street Journal (best nonfiction of 2012)
Much of Ujifusa’s book is a portrait in determination, as Gibbs’s plans for his big ship are continually tossed about in political, economic and personal squalls. A less single-minded man may have given up at numerous times.
(Stephen Heyman The New York Times Style Magazine
"In his debut, Ujifusa harks back to a time when men were men, and transatlantic ships were serious business...Written with passion and thoroughness, this is a love letter to a bygone time and the ships that once ruled the seas."
(Publishers Weekly starred review)
"Ujifusa describes the construction of the ship in engrossing detail and provides informative digressions on the golden age of ocean travel, when liners carried millionaires, celebrities, and desperate refugees."
“The sea inspires obsessions in determined men, from Captain Ahab to Admiral Rickover. Steven Ujifusa introduces us to another – the naval architect William Francis Gibbs. His ingenious design of mass-producible Liberty ships helped win World War II, but Gibbs’ obsession was to build the world’s fastest, safest and most elegant Atlantic liner. He ultimately succeeded, but in a decade his masterpiece was obsolete and unprofitable. Ujifusa narrates this tragedy well, in all its technical, political and human dimensions.”
(Admiral Dennis C. Blair, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Former Director of National Intelligence)
“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.”
(The Wall Street Journal
“A fascinating historical account…A snapshot of the American Dream culminating with this country's mid-century greatness.”
(The Wall Street Journal
“A marvelous narrative of America’s premier naval architect.”
—Barrett Tillman, author of Enterprise
“A Man and His Ship, a hugely entertaining re-creation of the age of the ocean liner, will leave older readers nostalgic, younger readers envious, and all of them engrossed in the drama of William Francis Gibbs as he fights to build the greatest ship of them all, the S.S. United States. The Cunard Line once boasted that ‘getting there is half the fun.’ Now Steven Ujifusa has given us the other half.”
(A. J. Langguth, author of Driven West)
"A delightful account of the era of grand ocean liners and the brilliant, single-minded designer who yearned to build the greatest ocean liner of all."—Kirkus
"A fitting memorial to our greatest naval architect."—The National Review
“[An] absorbing, transporting new history…Ujifusa’s book is a portrait in determination, as Gibbs’s plans for his big ship are continually tossed about in political, economic and personal squalls.”
(The New York Times (TMagazine)