"A fascinating and thought-provoking book about one of the most consequential human migrations in world history. Not only does Ujifusa illuminate the drama and the physical and financial mechanics of the mass exodus of Jews and other immigrants from central and eastern Europe to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but he also brilliantly shows how the rising tide of ignorant racism transformed America from a welcoming nation to one that callously turned its back on human suffering. The parallels between then and now, especially the spike in anti-semitism and fear of the 'other,' should worry everyone. It is up to all Americans to make sure we don't repeat the shameful mistakes of the past. THE LAST SHIPS FROM HAMBURG will help achieve that goal."
-- Eric Jay Dolin, author of Rebels at Sea and Black Flags, Blue Waters.
Steven Ujifusa is a historian and a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His third book, The Last Ships from Hamburg: Business, Rivalry, and the Race to Save Russia's Jews on the Eve of World War I, tells the story of Eastern European Jewish immigration to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It will be published by HarperCollins in November 2023. Principal characters will include the fin de siècle triumvirate of J.P. Morgan, Jacob Schiff, and Albert Ballin. To preorder The Last Ships from Hamburg, visit the HarperCollins book website.
His second book, Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship, tells the saga of the great 19th century American clipper ships and the Yankee merchant dynasties they created. In 2012, The Wall Street Journal named his first book, A Man and His Ship: America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the SS United States (Simon & Schuster), as one of the 10 best nonfiction books of the year.
Steven is the recipient of the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence from the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, a MacDowell artist residency, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. He has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and numerous other media outlets. He is a frequent contributor to the urban history website PhillyHistory.org.
As a corporate historian, he is also the author of Local for the Long-Term, a history of Airgas, Inc., and Creative Capital, the official history of J.M. Forbes & Company, one of the oldest independent financial services firms in the United States.
A native of New York City and raised in Chappaqua, New York, Steven received his undergraduate degree in history from Harvard University and a joint masters in historic preservation and real estate development from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a rowing member of the University Barge Club and a singing member of the Orpheus Club.
Steven resides in Philadelphia with his wife Alexandra (an emergency room pediatrician) and two sons.
To schedule Steven for a speaking event, please use the contact form.