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This title in other editions

The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century

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The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

Henry Ford, a major architect of modern America, has lived on in the imagination of his fellow citizens as an enduring figure of fascination, an inimitable individual, a controversial personality, and a social visionary from the moment his Model T brought the automobile to the masses and triggered the consumer revolution. But never before has his outsized genius been brought to life so vividly as by Steven Watts in this major new biography. Watts, the author of the much acclaimed "The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life, has produced a superbly researched study of a man who was a bundle of contradictions.

Ford was the entrepreneur who first made the automobile affordable but who grew skeptical of consumerism's corrosive impact on moral values, an employer who insisted on a living wage for his workers but stridently opposed unions, who established the assembly line but worried about its effect on the work ethic, who welcomed African Americans to his company in the age of Jim Crow but was a rabid anti-Semite. He was the private man who had a warm, loving marriage while siring a son with a mistress; a father who drove his heir, Edsel, so relentlessly that it contributed to his early death; a folksy social philosopher and at one time, perhaps, the most popular figure in America, who treated his workers so harshly that they turned against him; creator of the largest, most sophisticated factory in the world who preferred spending time in his elaborate re-creation of a nineteenth-century village; and the greatest businessman of his age who haplessly lost control of his own company in his declining years.

Watts poignantly shows us how a Michigan farm boy frommodest circumstances emerged as one of America's richest men and one of its first mass-culture celebrities, one who became a folk hero to millions of ordinary citizens because of his support of high wages and material abundance for everyday workers and yet also excited the admiration of figures as diverse as Vladimir Lenin and Adolf Hitler, John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson.

Disclosing the man behind the myth and situating his achievements and controversies firmly within the context of early twentieth-century America, Watts has given us a comprehensive, illuminating biography of an American icon.

About the Author

Steven Watts is a professor of history at University of Missouri and the author of The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE: The Legend of Henry Ford

PART ONE: The Road to Fame

One—Farm Boy

Two—Machinist

Three—Inventor

Four—Businessman

Five—Celebrity

Six—Entrepreneur

PART TWO: The Miracle Maker

Seven—Consumer

Eight—Producer

Nine—Folk Hero

Ten—Reformer

Eleven—Victorian

Twelve—Politician

PART THREE: The Flivver King

Thirteen—Legend

Fourteen—Visionary

Fifteen—Moralist

Sixteen—Positive Thinker

Seventeen—Emperor

Eighteen—Father

Nineteen—Bigot

PART FOUR: The Long Twilight

Twenty—Antiquarian

Twenty-one—Individualist

Twenty-two—Despot

Twenty-three—Dabbler

Twenty-four—Educator

Twenty-five—Figurehead

EPILOGUE: The Sage of Dearborn

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375707254
Author:
Watts, Steven
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Subject:
Business
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Industries - Automobile Industry
Subject:
Ford, Henry
Subject:
Automobile industry and trade
Subject:
Biography/Business
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 PP. BandW PHOTOS
Pages:
656
Dimensions:
8.00x5.32x1.31 in. 1.32 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Business
Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Business » General
Metaphysics » Magic Witchcraft and Paganism
Metaphysics » Wicca and Goddess Worship
Transportation » Automotive » Pictorial

The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century New Trade Paper
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Product details 656 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375707254 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Henry Ford, a major architect of modern America, has lived on in the imagination of his fellow citizens as an enduring figure of fascination, an inimitable individual, a controversial personality, and a social visionary from the moment his Model T brought the automobile to the masses and triggered the consumer revolution. But never before has his outsized genius been brought to life so vividly as by Steven Watts in this major new biography. Watts, the author of the much acclaimed "The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life, has produced a superbly researched study of a man who was a bundle of contradictions.

Ford was the entrepreneur who first made the automobile affordable but who grew skeptical of consumerism's corrosive impact on moral values, an employer who insisted on a living wage for his workers but stridently opposed unions, who established the assembly line but worried about its effect on the work ethic, who welcomed African Americans to his company in the age of Jim Crow but was a rabid anti-Semite. He was the private man who had a warm, loving marriage while siring a son with a mistress; a father who drove his heir, Edsel, so relentlessly that it contributed to his early death; a folksy social philosopher and at one time, perhaps, the most popular figure in America, who treated his workers so harshly that they turned against him; creator of the largest, most sophisticated factory in the world who preferred spending time in his elaborate re-creation of a nineteenth-century village; and the greatest businessman of his age who haplessly lost control of his own company in his declining years.

Watts poignantly shows us how a Michigan farm boy frommodest circumstances emerged as one of America's richest men and one of its first mass-culture celebrities, one who became a folk hero to millions of ordinary citizens because of his support of high wages and material abundance for everyday workers and yet also excited the admiration of figures as diverse as Vladimir Lenin and Adolf Hitler, John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson.

Disclosing the man behind the myth and situating his achievements and controversies firmly within the context of early twentieth-century America, Watts has given us a comprehensive, illuminating biography of an American icon.

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