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The Big Ship: The Story of the S.S. United States Paperback – July 5, 2011


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The Big Ship: The Story of the S.S. United States + A Man and His Ship: America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States + SS United States: Lady in Waiting
Price for all three: $53.64

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Turner (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596527641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596527645
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“The story of the superliner United States is a remarkable epoch. She was a superb wonder ship in many ways; the supreme achievement of American maritime genius. She was a success beyond the most sanguine expectations of her designer and builders.”
The Big Ship: The Story of the S.S. United States is the fascinating behind-the scenes story of one of the fastest ships in the world and one of the most luxurious passenger liners to cross the Atlantic. With new introductory material by the SS United States Conservancy, this classic volume includes photographs of celebrity passengers and of the majestic liner from her golden years, when she spurred the rebirth of America's maritime glory, to her twilight years. Follow Frank Braynard, one of the great American maritime historians, as he chronicles the life of the S.S. United States, the incredible feat of engineering that still holds the westbound speed record on the North Atlantic. This book stands as a tribute of her maiden voyage, a celebration of her recent rescue efforts by the Conservancy, and an inspiration for future generations to restore the legacy of the greatest ocean liner this country has ever built.

About the Author

Frank O. Braynard (1916-2007) was a maritime reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, curator of the American Merchant Marine Museum, and director of New York’s South Street Seaport Museum. He organized the first “Operation Sail” in 1964 and OpSail ’76 for America’s 200th birthday celebration. A graduate of Duke University and recipient of several prestigious maritime awards, Braynard also held a post at the American Merchant Marine Institute, served as president of the Steamship Historical Society of America, and was an honorary member of the Council of American Master Mariners.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Great read lots of unknown information to me.
mario ammatucci
One area this book lacks it is very short on photos for a book of this type.
James J. Varela
My thanks to his daughter for releasing this book again.
jonathan lloyd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By AFL. III on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a story, not of only the SS United States, but also of the man who designed it, and lived the story. Mr. Gibbs' passion for this project is compelling from the very start. Following "Big U" from inception, to construction, to service, back to out of service. A wonderful book that is more in depth than the William Miller book "The SS United States, the story of America's fastest liner." This is a "MUST OWN" book and well worth any price. GREAT illustrations, and just you will not wish to put it down!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James J. Varela on July 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is the last word on the rise and fall of the SS United States. Very well done research on the behind the scenes events from the building of the liner to the infamous labor strife that was rampant in the U.S. Merchant Marine, the endless bickering over government subsidies and finally the decision to pull the plug on The U.S. passenger fleet. One area this book lacks it is very short on photos for a book of this type. Most are of celebrities of the age on their Trans Atlantic crossings over the years. The index too looks like someone forgot to complete it. It is tragic the British Queen Mary was saved and sits in Long Beach California while the SSU was allowed to be sold off in 1977 to an under-capitalized businessman for a pittance and allowed to decay over the years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FOP5 on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a book you have trouble putting down I enjoy a great deal and still reading it would tell everyone to get a copy of it. Plus all Help to Save her This a very important part of our history so get a copy to read about it you will not be sorry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By john clark on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed reading it , many interesting facts that I was completely un aware of. I hope the ship is saved.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Garcillan on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's one of the definitive works about the finest ship ever built in the United States of America. This great book cointains the classic Frank O. Braynard text with new introductory material by the SS United States Conservancy and includes new photographs of celebrity passengers and of the majestic liner from her golden years. The original book published in the 80's is difficult and expensive to find in the second hand market. Now we have again the opportunity to acquire this little gem for our library.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will go to the SS United States Conservancy to support its efforts to preserve and restore the SS UNITED STATES. Noell Braynard Hollander, daughter of Frank generously offered royalties from the sale of this book to the Conservancy.

On July 1, 2010, the Conservancy announced that it had received a $5.8 million pledge from philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, enough money to purchase the ship and maintain her at her current berth while funds are raised for her redevelopment but still awaits an uncertain future because the money is running out rapidly due to her high maintenance cost. On July 3rd. 2012 the SS United States will celebrate her 60th. anniversary. Please, help us to preserve, protect and defend this masterpiece for future generations. [...]
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By TomEnroute on June 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A revised and updated edition of one of the classic ocean liner books written by one of the all time great maritime historians. If you don't have the original, then this is a must for any ocean liner enthusiast.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frank Braynard was a brilliant, charming and chatty ocean liner historian that actually lived the history and it shows in this richly cogent history of what was once highest in style and technology. It's like listening to a favorite uncle tell tales about your favorite subject. His words really take you there, so to speak.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr Braynard did an outstanding job researching the beginnings of this ship. My highest compliments on the completeness of his research. I was privileged to have met him and his family. He was an ocean liner lover completely. Now have all his books. My thanks to his daughter for releasing this book again.
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