The SS United States: Ship of Power, Might and Indecision

Author(s): William H. Miller 

ISBN: 9781625451156
$23.00 $32.00
Examines the career of this innovative and record-breaking ocean liner on the 70th anniversary of its triumphant maiden voyage in July 1952.

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  • A beautiful yet forgotten tale of a bygone era

  • Superbly illustrated with many unpublished photographs

  • Written by maritime’s biggest star – William H. Miller

The SS United States was the most important and newsworthy ocean liner of the post-Second World War era.

She was sheer magnificence: technologically advanced, futuristic, stylish and extremely powerful. The year 1952 will mark the seventieth year since her record-breaking maiden voyage between New York and England, sweeping the seas in three-and-a-half days and at extraordinary speeds of over 35 knots.

Triumphantly, she took the prized Blue Ribbon from Britain’s Queen Mary and became a symbol of great American pride, a shining symbol of post-war Yankee genius and joy. She sailed at ninety per cent capacity for the next decade, but her passenger numbers slowly declined in the face of an even faster rival: the trans-ocean jet. By 1969, the struggling liner was decommissioned.

Over fifty years of idleness followed and of schemes for revival coinciding with deepening neglect and decay.

Just a few years ago, there were still vibrant rumours circulating of restoring the SS United States as a contemporary cruise ship. Sadly, nothing came to pass. The 72-year career of the SS United States is one of striking contrasts – triumph and success, then struggle and indecision.

BOOK ISBN 9781625451156
FORMAT 275 x 215 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 112 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 27 January 2022
ILLUSTRATIONS 210 colour photographs


Known as ‘Mr Ocean Liner,’ William H. Miller has written over 80 books about passenger ships. He has covered the liners large and small, in war and peace, and as collectibles and in post card form. Miller has also penned over 1000 articles about ships and sea travel. He has been a popular guest lecturer aboard such liners as the QE2, Queen Mary 2, Rotterdam & Crystal Serenity for over 30 years. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across from the great liner piers of New York City, Miller has appeared in numerous TV documentaries, and news programs and himself has been the subject of a 60-min documentary called ‘Mr Ocean Liner’. Miller has been the recipient of numerous maritime awards.