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Steven Ujifusa is the author of A Man and His Ship, which The Wall Street Journal named one of the best nonfiction books of 2012. He received his B.A. in history from Harvard College and his master's degree in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

Includes the name: Steven Ujifusa

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At its core, this book is a biography of the shipping magnate Albert Ballin, who rose to influence as the manager of the Hamburg-America Line, in spite of being of Jewish descent. That Ballin became so successful was a result of how he was able to exploit the great wave of immigration to the United States, many of whom were Jewish folk seeking to escape the anti-Jewish policy of the regime of Tsar Alexander III. Everything else that Ujifusa covers in his intricate narrative, stems from these two points, as he further explores the rise and fall of mass immigration before 1914, the cut and thrust of the commercial shipping business in this period, and providing a kaleidoscopic portrait of the "Belle Epoch" before the Great War. A war that broke Ballin as a businessman and a person; along with so many others.… (lisätietoja)
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Shrike58 | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 7, 2024 |
Fascinating and comprehensive history of the American ship builders that influenced the great immigrations, especially of Jews, from Europe.
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Rosareads | 1 muu arvostelu | Feb 4, 2024 |
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 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 become bogged down in personal anecdotes at times, but this is still a good introduction to a bygone time and a great American technologist.… (lisätietoja)
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Shrike58 | 1 muu arvostelu | Aug 26, 2020 |
The author weaves quite a clever web as he looks at the business environment that provided a rationale for the ten-year long heyday of the China & California clippers before considering the technology of these ships, the crews that took them to sea and how circumstances rendered them obsolete. It is also striking that many of the descendants of the merchant princes who commissioned these vessels were so willing to talk to Ujifusa considering that the opium trade was such a big aspect of this business. I also found it interesting that Donald McKay, the greatest builder of clipper ships, was ultimately broken by poorly negotiated ship-building contracts with the U.S. government during the Civil War more than anything else (aborting an on-going transition to the building of railroad locomotives).… (lisätietoja)
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Shrike58 | 1 muu arvostelu | Nov 11, 2018 |



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