The Only Way To Cross
Front Cover, The Only Way to Cross: The Golden Era of the Great Atlantic Express Liners -- from the Mauretania to the France and the Queen Elizabeth 2 by John Maxtone-Graham with a Forward by Walter Lord, 1972. GGA Image ID # 2021fba711
This painstakingly researched volume chronicles the age of luxury transatlantic travel and the splendid, glittering steamships that thundered across the world's most dangerous ocean, ferrying the world's wealthiest and most prominent passengers, from Mary Pickford and Sally Rand to Edward, Prince of Wales, between the U.S. and Europe during the first half of the century.
The book profiles the opulent lifestyles aboard such floating palaces as Normandie, Rex, Olympic, Amerika, Queen Mary, France, Mauritania, Queen Elizabeth II, Imperator, and Titanic. "Perhaps the most readable book on the subject ever to have appeared" --Country Life. Black-and-white photographs.
From the Publisher
Since writing The Only Way to Cross in 1972, John Maxtone-Graham has become one of the world's foremost maritime historians. This most recent reprint of The Only Way to Cross continues to transport readers back to the bygone maritime era, when dozens of express liners steamed in and out of New York and sailed across the North Atlantic, accommodating the rich on lavish upper decks and hordes of immigrants deep within their holds.
From discussing the vessels' engineering and architectural marvels to narrating the frightful stories of facing perilous storms and fogs, Maxtone-Graham successfully documents the rich history these liners conjured up during their exciting journeys from port to port.
Back Cover, The Only Way to Cross by John Maxtone-Graham, 1972. GGA Image ID # 20222bd35d
From the Back Cover
The Only Way to Cross is a lively, loving tribute to the great Atlantic ocean liners, a treasure for everyone who enjoys ships and the sea and for all of us who want to discover—or rediscover—a more leisurely past.
John Maxtone-Graham recounts a time when everyone, from royalty to runaway, crossed by steamer. Remember when the Prince of Wales was disqualified from a Berengaria "Gala Night" race because he misplaced his potato? And what about Lord Burghley? He ran the mile four times around the promenade deck of the Queen Mary—in black tie, of course.
But a sea voyage wasn't all fun and games. Picture the poor immigrants traveling steerage to the Promised Land. Even Charles Dickens, crossing on the Britannia in 1842, penned caustic accounts of his trip: "My cabin was an utterly impractical, thoroughly hopeless and profoundly preposterous box," he would later write. Lunch he acidly described as "a dismal spread of pig's face, cold ham, and salt beef' served in a room depicted as "a hearse with windows."
The Only Way to Cross is a nostalgic yet faithful re-creation of life onboard the giant express liners. It has no rival in the color and completeness of its coverage and contains over 175 photographs, drawings, and maps.
"Marvelous and moving...altogether shipshape."
"Handsomely got up and splendidly evocative."-Saturday Review.
"A beautifully enjoyable book, packed with unexpected and little-known facts and written with verve and charm...."
"The next best thing to having once again made one of those delightful crossings in a great liner...I devoured the book.''
About the Author
JOHN MAXTONE-GRAHAM has been a Broadway stage manager, film producer, and author of Dark Brown Is the River.
Library of Congress Catalog Listing
- LC Control No.: 72075351
- Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
- Personal Name: Maxtone-Graham, John.
- Main Title: The only way to cross. With a foreword by Walter Lord.
- Published/Created: New York, Macmillan 
- Description: xiii, 434 p. illus. 24 cm.
- Notes: Bibliography: p. 425-428.
- Subjects: Ocean liners.
- LC Classification: HE566.O25 M38
- Dewey Class No.: 387.5/42/091631
- ISBN: 0020960107 (pbk)