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Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road to Bankruptcy and Bailout--And Beyondby Paul Ingrassia
Synopses & Reviews
This is the epic saga of the American automobile industry's rise and demise, a compelling story of hubris, denial, missed opportunities, and self-inflicted wounds that culminates with the president of the United States ushering two of Detroit's Big Three car companies—once proud symbols of prosperity—through bankruptcy. The cost to American taxpayers topped $100 billion—enough to buy every car and truck sold in America in the first half of 2009. With unprecedented access, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Ingrassia takes us from factory floors to small-town dealerships to Detroit's boardrooms to the inner sanctums of the White House. He reveals why President Barack Obama personally decided to save Chrysler when many of his advisors opposed the idea. Ingrassia provides the dramatic story behind Obama's dismissal of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner and the angry reaction from GM's board—the same people who had watched idly while the company plunged into penury.
In Crash Course, Ingrassia answers the big questions: Was Detroit's self-destruction inevitable? What were the key turning points? Why did Japanese automakers manage American workers better than the American companies themselves did? He also describes dysfunctional corporate cultures (even as GM's market share plunged, the company continued business as usual) and Detroit's perverse system of "inverse layoffs" (which allowed union members to invoke seniority to avoid work). Along the way we meet Detroit's frustrated reformers and witness the wrenching decisions that Ford executives had to make to avoid GM's fate.
Informed by Ingrassia's twenty-five years of experience covering the auto industry for The Wall Street Journal, and showing an appreciation for Detroit's profound influence on our country's society and culture, Crash Course is a uniquely American and deeply instructive story, one not to be missed.
From the Hardcover edition.
The inside story of how the Obama administration masterminded the rescue of the U.S. auto industry
“Steven Rattner shows a journalist's eye for detail . . . Overhaul is a feast of political and financial intrigue.” —Detroit Free Press
In Overhaul, Steven Rattner delivers an inside account of the Obama administration's bold bid to save the auto industry. From his vantage point at the helm of the intervention, Rattner crafts a tightly plotted narrative of political brinksmanship, corporate incompetence, and personalities under pressure in a high-stakes drama of Washington and Detroit. He also explains the tough choices he and his team made to keep Chrysler and GM in operation—while working against the clock in the face of intense lobbying from staunch Democratic allies and vocal opposition from free-market partisans.
Overhaul is a candid, gripping story of one of the most difficult crises of President Obama's first year in office, with lessons relevant for all managers and executives.
“[An] exhaustive, detailed account . . . Overhaul will certainly be on the bookshelf of every bankruptcy attorney in the country, and become required reading for public policy and law students.” —New York Times
“Unquestionably the best book so far about the Obama presidency.” —Slate
With a new epilogue
With an updated Afterword by the author
This is the epic saga of the American automobile industry’s rise and demise, a compelling story of hubris, missed opportunities, and self-inflicted wounds that culminates with the president of the United States ushering two of Detroit’s Big Three car companies—once proud symbols of prosperity—through bankruptcy. With unprecedented access, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Ingrassia takes us from factory floors to small-town dealerships to Detroit’s boardrooms to the White House. Ingrassia answers the big questions: Was Detroit’s self-destruction inevitable? What were the key turning points? Why did Japanese automakers manage American workers better than the American companies themselves did? Complete with a new Afterword providing fresh insights into the continuing upheaval in the auto industry—the travails of Toyota, the revolving-door management and IPO at General Motors, the unexpected progress at Chrysler, and the Obama administration’s stake in Detroit’s recovery—Crash Course addresses a critical question: America bailed out GM, but who will bail out America?
About the Author
Paul Ingrassia is the former Detroit bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 (with Joseph B. White) for reporting on management crises at General Motors, Ingrassia has chronicled the auto industry for more than twenty-five years. He is co-author, with White, of Comeback: The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry, and has made numerous media appearances on ABC TV's World News Tonight and Good Morning America, NPR's Morning Edition, and other programs.
From the Hardcover edition.
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