Thursday, January 30, 2014

Upcoming Library Lecture Series: Steven Ujifusa

A Man and His Ship:
America’s Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States.
With Author Steven Ujifusa
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 1500, Stephen B. Luce Library
Library Lecture Series: Navigate Your Course@ Your Library


Steven Ujifusa is a writer and historian whose areas of interest and expertise include urban history, urban planning, historic preservation, business, economic history and architecture. He has written extensively on related issues for, a website operated by University of Pennsylvania and Additionally, he has done consulting work for Philadelphia’s Department of Records. Since childhood, Ujifusa has had a fascination with ships, ocean liners and significant American building projects. 
Born in New York City, raised in Chappaqua, New York, he went to Philadelphia for his graduate studies and stayed. He received his B.A. in history from Harvard University and joint master’s degrees in historic preservation and real estate from the University of Pennsylvania.  When not writing, public speaking and fundraising, Ujifusa divides his time between singing (He is a singing member of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia), rowing (He is a member of the University Barge Club) and travel.  A Man and His Ship is his first book.

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. Steven Ujifusa’s groundbreaking debut sheds light on a forgotten genius and the sleek vision to which he gave birth.
William Francis 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.

“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 that once ruled the seas,”—Publishers Weekly starred review

“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 compelling work.” –John Steele Gordon, The Wall Street Journal, Best Nonfiction of 2012

“A marvelous narrative of America’s premier naval architect”—Barrett Tillman, author of Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II