Henry Ford

Henry Ford

3.93 (128 ratings by Goodreads)
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Most great figures in American culture and history reveal great contradictions, but none more so than Henry Ford. Vincent Curcio's compact, lively biography offers new insight on the man who not only founded Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford Company (later Cadillac) but also institutionalized the assembly line production process and (some argue) created the middle class in America. Ford invented an entire physical, economic and social system through the assembly line production of the Ford Model T automobile. By constantly improving his product, sales rose, enabling Ford to lower its price until it became a universal commodity. Ford created a market for this commodity by paying his workers so well that, for the first time in history, the people who manufactured a complex industrial product could own one. This was "Fordism, " social engineering on a vast scale. But Ford's anti-Semitism would forever stain his reputation and shadow his legacy. Hitler admired him greatly, both for his anti-Semitism and his autocratic leadership, displaying Ford's picture in his bedroom and keeping a copy of Ford's My Life and Work by his bedside. Despite this, Ford's workers were loyal. Ford offered good pay, good benefits, English language classes, and employment for those who struggled to find jobs - handicapped, African-American and female workers. Ford was a man both invigorated by the possibilities of modernism and yet conflicted by its implications. This new Lives and Legacies volume explores the dimensions of Ford's indisputable greatness while acknowledging the deep flaws that complicate his legacy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 144.78 x 210.82 x 30.48mm | 294.83g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195316924
  • 9780195316926
  • 575,892

Review quote

Curcio's study is winningly even-handed and well researched. * Jonathan Wright, The Glasgow Herald * [A] succinct and illuminating narrative. * The Automobile * Henry Ford is a brisk read, and one brimming with resonant detail. * Douglas Kennedy, The Times *show more

About Vincent Curcio

Vincent Curcio , a veteran theatrical manager-producer, is the author of Chrysler: The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius. A long-time car enthusiast, he divides his time between Union City, New Jersey, Paris, and the White Barn Theatre in Westport, Connecticut.show more

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Henry Ford - How It All Began ; 2. Walking into the Future ; 3. Cooking with Gas ; 4. The Ford Motor Company ; 5. The Model T and the Coming of Mass Production ; 6. The Big Issues - Peace and War - Consolidating Power ; 7. Modern Times ; 8. Has Something Come Between Us? ; 9. Things he was Thinking About ; 10. Everything Old is New Again ; 11. Efflorescence and Hard Endings ; Conclusionshow more

Rating details

128 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 29% (37)
4 44% (56)
3 22% (28)
2 3% (4)
1 2% (3)
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