Jerry E. Strahan is the author of Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in the Quarter.
Allied commander-in-chief Dwight Eisenhower called him ``the man who won the war for us''--Andrew Higgins (1886-1952), who designed and mass-produced the landing craft that carried American troops ashore in the Pacific and European theaters of WW II. Strahan's rousing story is about the New Orleans businessman who, while fighting the Navy bureaucracy to assure that U.S. forces had the finest amphibious craft possible, became head of one of the largest industrial complexes in the world. Strahan discusses Higgins's enlightened hiring practices (many of his shipyard workers were black, female or disabled), his long-running battle with the AFL and CIO, and his postwar struggle to stay in business as designer/builder of commercial and pleasure craft. Strahan's biography will appeal both to students of American business and to general readers; Higgins was a brash, colorful, dynamic man. Strahan is a New Orleans businessman; this is his first book. Illustrations. (June)
Andrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats That Won World War II is an important book, and Jerry Strahan has performed an admirable service for the city, military, and maritime historians in detailing the engineering and manufacturing innovations of a forgotten pioneer.-- "New Orleans Times-Picayune"