|Pages/Publication Date:||427 / 2010|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
In America's early days, fortunes were made and lost importing luxury goods from China, a secretive, often brutal business where items were purchased with profits from the opium trade. But the journey by sea to New York from Canton could take six months, and so here Steven Ujifusa tells the story of the cutthroat competitors who raced to build the fastest ships to carry their cargo to American shores. These visionary shipbuilders and captains (with names like Forbes and Delano) linked China's expatriate communities to Gold Rush-era San Francisco, East Boston's shipyards, and the lavish sitting rooms of Hudson Valley estates. In this history, Ujifusa draws back the curtain on the making of some of the nation's greatest fortunes, and the rise and fall of an all-American industry as sordid as it was genteel.