By William H. Miller, Anthony Cooke and Maurizio Eliseo
In the 1920s and 1930s ocean liners were the main means of intercontinental travel. These great ships were floating showcases of their nation’s technology, architecture and art. They carried the “rich and famous” in almost unimaginable luxury and, in less glamorous quarters, they took many thousands of lesser folk to a new life in a new country. A myriad of influences and historical events fashioned the world behind these ships. The mood varied from technological marvels and elegance to economic collapse accompanied by political and social upheaval as well as the extreme nationalism and looming war. Famous ocean liners from Canada, England, the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia and more are represented. The motifs that shaped these ships were dynamic 20th century visions of machines, jazz, art and speed. Key words were larger, longer, faster and streamlined. It was the era of radio, the “talkies”, the Golden Age of Hollywood; movie stars like Garbo, Gable, Astaire and Rogers, Shirley Temple, the Marx Brothers and Big Bands like Dorsey and Goodman were regarded as royalty. The ships that sailed through these years varied from elderly survivors of pre-First World War to new and glorious liners fully in tune with the new era. The biggest and most stylish were essentially “Ships of State” subsidized by governments for reasons of national pride and for military use as troopships or hospital ships in time of war but mostly because they were cultural statements for each nation in those interesting times. Relive the glory days of over 100 liners in superbly clear black and white photos, including many full page and double-page spreads. Hardcover. 10 X 12 inches. 240 pages.