TWO GREAT SHIPS: Two excellent books
Published by The Glencannon Press – Maritime Books
At the end of World War II, the Cunard Line, the company that pioneered steamship travel across the North Atlantic, enjoyed record profits while its American counterpart, United States Lines struggled to survive. Adding insult to injury, three-quarters of Cunard’s passenger list were Americans and Canadians. United States Lines president John Franklin knew he had to make a bold move if his company was to survive. He had his work cut out for him. Cunard’s fleet included the express liners Queens Mary and Elizabeth; superliners that epitomized style, comfort, and speed. Franklin’s ships consisted, for the most part, of tired reconverted troopships.
The Last Great Race tells the story of how Franklin teamed up with a brilliant naval architect, William Francis Gibbs to challenge Cunard’s dominance building a ship capable of winning a mythical prize for speed across the North Atlantic, the Blue Riband. A win would increase passenger revenue and restore national pride – no American ship had won the race in the past one hundred years. Of course, Cunard was not about to give without a fight.
The last great race transports readers to a time when great ocean liners competed for passengers, profits and pride by racing across the stormy waters of the Atlantic. Driscoll builds the story of the S.S United States around the colorful characters that created and sailed her. The reader is on board for the excitement of the maiden voyage, including a portrait of the plucky captain who skippered the ship to victory. The story also delves into little-known aspects of the ship from conception to glory days and a sad decline.
The author is a good researcher and writer… Overall the author has made a particularly good contribution to the Story of the S.S. United States. I highly recommend this book for your reading pleasure and reference. Willism J Fox Powerships
Launched in 1939, the S.S. America was the country’s symbolic Ship of State. Designed to compete in the North Atlantic service she was an unmistakable American ship, comfortable, modern in design and décor. The day after launch, Nazi Germany invaded Poland and engulfed the world into war. After a brief cruising career, she was stripped of her comfort and luxury to serve as America’s largest troopship in WWII. At war’s end, America flourished for many years as a transatlantic passenger liner beloved by passengers and crew. Her later around-the-world voyages as the SS Australis added to her legend, bringing her the undying affection of thousands of passengers and immigrants.
Larry Driscoll tells the story of the S.S. America in complete loving detail. Where other writer’s start with the ship’s launching, he first brings the reader into the shipyard to see how a ship is built and outfitted: he then takes “on-board” to experience a typical voyage on a luxury liner, finally bringing us to her resting place on the bleak shores of the Canary Islands. He also discovered the human side of the ship and liberally intersperses the passenger and crew stories that gave her life. Filled with outstanding photographs, this book will be enjoyed by those who sailed aboard her, and those who wished they had.
NOTE: Published in 2003, the book was well received and went into a second printing. Used copies can be obtained from:
LINK to the home page : https://dev.united-states-lines.org/