Sep 10, Don O'goodreader rated it it was amazing Shelves: Around years ago Henry Ford had an idea that made him a billionaire. Today's business folks aka Republicans seem to have forgotten the concept entirely: That is a fact we must never forget - that is the secret of our prosperity," and, I add, the antithesis of "trickle-down" economics. Though it' Around years ago Henry Ford had an idea that made him a billionaire. Though it's not mentioned or implied, Henry Ford's life reads like a dyslexic with Asperger's Syndrome.
Ford didn't read and probably couldn't - given the opportunity to read in a court trial, he refused. His staff learned to that he preferred to hear their ideas, and probably wouldn't read them anyway. While this theoretical dyslexia might have been a drawback, the possible Asperger's, like that of many successful entrepreneurs, perhaps even the Republican front-runner written in January , allowed Ford to push forward his business with little regard to family, associates, and employees. For example, Ford Motor Company, was his third automotive start-up.
In all three cases, he pushed forward with no regard for his partners, who either lost their investment when the enterprise failed, or were forced out when the enterprise was a success. While he was undoubtedly a mechanical genius, outside the development labs, he managed his company with a reign of chaos, pitting managers against managers, embarrassing and belittling his family members, and hiring thugs that terrorized everyone.
In his public life he championed a wide range of causes including promotion of 19th-century Victorian values and lifestyles - in sharp contrast to his own life which included many estares with all the modern conveniences, usually including a private power plant, and a long-term mistress living on an estate nearby. His also funded a cruise to Europe to prevent World War I, and extensive antisemitic publications and activities.
On numerous occasions FMC went against public opinion, such as when Henry Ford refused to abandon the obsolete Model-T or join the war efforts. In these cases, the company finally came around. In Ford's later years, the author ascribes this independent behavior to oncoming dementia, but this pattern of ignoring people seems to have been a constant from the beginning. I found book to be comprehensive and fascinating. Though the author's intent was clearly to be positive, the undertone was certainly dark and dangerous.
The always brief mentions of emotional and physical pain caused by Ford's actions and inactions seemed to be just the tip of an iceberg of a darkness that was funded by Ford's millions. Overall an excellent books, that explained everything, except how did this insensitive person become one of the richest and most influential people of the 20th century? Or maybe that is the explanation Jun 05, Tom Schulte rated it really liked it.
It seems a large and forebidding task to try and paint a balanced picture of such a complex and even contradictory man. His huge effect on industry and the nation included social activism in anti-war and education areas, museum building and this was colored by bigotry, moralistic paternalism belied by his actions, and poor labor relations.
I had previously an overly simplistic view of Ford's inventive prowess: He invented the assembly line and not the car, right? It is more interesting than that It seems a large and forebidding task to try and paint a balanced picture of such a complex and even contradictory man. It is more interesting than that. In this well-researched and documented book, we are reminded of Ford's invented quadracycle and other internal combustion automobile advances as well as engineering accomplishments while working for Edison's electric power company, etc. Overall there seems to be a moral here: Me standing in between two Fordsons in Murfreesboro's Cannonsburg Village bicentennial collection: Did not know all this about Henry Ford.
Biographies are my favorite and Steven Watt's bio on Henry Ford is one of my favorites. This book delves into not only what this man accomplished in his life but also the character that drove him. Watt does an excellent job of uncovering the his motivations, and contrasting strengths and weaknesses that made Ford one of the most notable figures of the early twentieth century. Ford is portrayed as both genius of mechanics and marketing right along side his tendencies toward domineering and bigotry Biographies are my favorite and Steven Watt's bio on Henry Ford is one of my favorites.
Ford is portrayed as both genius of mechanics and marketing right along side his tendencies toward domineering and bigotry traits.
Henry Ford and the American Century
Ford was as doer and early on saw his mission to develop a vehicle that would be affordable to the masses and also build an industry that would deliver well paying jobs that in turn would fuel demand for his car. Generally he had this right but this focused vision also led him astray as he refused to change with the times and demands of consumers. A man of many contradictions he portrayed himself as a simple man of the people and behind the scenes took care in promoting this image in marketing his products.
After achieving initial success in the manufacturing process, setting new standards of efficiency, he crossed over in an attempt at social engineering which he tried to shape to his standards. He would repeatedly resort to such tactics throughout his life and it would take its toll as his critics pointed out Ford's rigid views on how one should conduct their life.
In his personal life Ford saw fit to conduct a secret life of infidelity and rode his son Edsel essentially to an early grave. Watt delivers a complete picture of Henry Ford as every aspect of his life is shown for what was in his era, both good and bad. Apr 27, Aaron Kleinheksel rated it liked it Shelves: I readily admit I read this book primarily due to my interest in the time period, particularly concerning the nascent American automotive industry and especially the development of the Model T.
The strength of this book is that in many places it is as much a Social History of turn-of-the-last-century America as it is a chronicle of Henry Ford. This is explained by the fact that American social history is the author's area of expertise. I also enjoyed the early chapters describing Ford's early lif I readily admit I read this book primarily due to my interest in the time period, particularly concerning the nascent American automotive industry and especially the development of the Model T.
I also enjoyed the early chapters describing Ford's early life and development, and the development of his automotive inventions. The book misses 4 stars because this biography needed far more detail of Ford Motor Co. Once the Model T is under production, the automotive industry is almost completely set aside except as an afterthought, or something going on in the background. While important, the author just spends too much time on Ford's pacifistic activities and his terrible anti-semitism.
The bottom line is that neither myself nor anyone else would be reading about Henry Ford at all were it not for the Model T and the Ford Motor Company. More industrial history absolutely needed. Apr 20, Andrew Christison rated it it was amazing. The People's Tycoon shows through example everything that made Henry Ford such a dominant force in the Industrial Age.
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- The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century by Steven Watts.
From his tinkering to perfection through multiple businesses, finding success once he could gain full control of his entity, to being a race car driver and an outspoken populist thinker of his times, my admiration for Ford changed caliber consistently throughout the book, but left me with an appreciation of the contributions that Ford has given to the American and greater Global The People's Tycoon shows through example everything that made Henry Ford such a dominant force in the Industrial Age. From his tinkering to perfection through multiple businesses, finding success once he could gain full control of his entity, to being a race car driver and an outspoken populist thinker of his times, my admiration for Ford changed caliber consistently throughout the book, but left me with an appreciation of the contributions that Ford has given to the American and greater Global society.
Interesting bits that I especially enjoyed was hearing about his childhood watch tinkering, his disdain for FDR, his often raucous relationship with his son, his rise to stardom from racecar driving, his media manipulation abilities, his philosophy on consumer culture, and the slow and steady progress to the efficient assembly-line system that took nearly 10 years to fully perfect. Henry Ford did more than change the automobile industry, he changed the entire manufacturing industry.
His innovations in mass production and his dream of affordable transportation for the masses helped transform the American economy and changed society more dramatically than any other single invention in modern history. I was surprised to learn of his research and promotion of soy beans. I appreciate the irony of his love of history and desire to preserve a simpler time that his model T actually contributed to the demise of.
The author also takes great care to share insight into Henry Ford's character, his arrogance, his ego, his simplicity, his prejudices and his ignorance. He contrasts that with Ford's mechanical genius, business savvy, street smarts, drive and perseverance to paint a complete portrait of a complex man. Sep 20, Joanna rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a very interesting biography of the mechanical and assembly line genius, Henry Ford. At times, his ignorance as well as his anti-Semitism This is a very interesting biography of the mechanical and assembly line genius, Henry Ford.
At times, his ignorance as well as his anti-Semitism were all too evident. Mar 07, Matt rated it really liked it. This book is an incredibly rich investigation of Henry Ford and his impact on modern 20th Century, anyway America, both good and bad. Watts covers the Ford's amazing accomplishments, as well as his embarrassing missteps and misconceptions.
He reveals how profoundly Ford changed the culture and lifestyle of nearly everyone living in the US at the time, and by extension thereafter. That said, it's a long book, and I think sometimes even a little repetitive. If you enjoy biography, and have time, This book is an incredibly rich investigation of Henry Ford and his impact on modern 20th Century, anyway America, both good and bad. If you enjoy biography, and have time, it's well worth a read, but it took me a long time to get through it, since I didn't have as much time to devote as I would have liked. I'm looking forward to reading another of Watts' biographies, the one of Walt Disney.
This book was a very slow read for me, but was full of interesting information. I did think some of it was repetitive in that it mentioned over and over about Henry Ford being a product of the Victorian age, and being influenced by the Populist movement. I did find it interesting to discover the impact of the industrial revolution on the USA, and the how it affected the average man.
The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century - Steven Watts - Google Книги
I was also interested in Henry Ford's thinking about making a single model car, and how he treated his workers. Lo This book was a very slow read for me, but was full of interesting information. Looking at history sure explains a lot of what is going on today with the government, big business, and the economy. Jan 30, Robert Gehrke rated it it was amazing. Fascinating book to read. Even though I live in Michigan and worked for Ford Motor Company for over 30 years in Dearborn, I learned a lot about not only Henry Ford but why a lot of things in our country are the way they are because of Henry Ford.
Now when I visit the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, I will notice and pay closer attention to many of the exhibits and buildings that were mentioned in the book. Would recommend it to anyone interested in influe Fascinating book to read. Would recommend it to anyone interested in influential people and cars. Nov 07, Drew rated it really liked it. The big odd thing is to follow a mini story the author goes totally out of chronological order. Not a big deal.
Great book on Henry Ford. Mar 09, Marshall rated it it was amazing. I spent a couple months reading this book in sporadic little bursts. Both fair and comprehensive, I think this is one of the better biographies I have read in the past couple years. It is definitely also the best book I've read on Henry Ford and the construction of the Ford automotive empire. Oct 28, Gregory Tait rated it really liked it.
I finally finished this book. Overall I enjoyed this bio. I may not agree with Henry Ford in his personal beliefs but he was an impressive man and really changed the world that he lived in. His accomplishments have endured well past his life and his comments on returning to the rural life and the return to a simpler life I think rings true now in this age of technological advances. Oct 11, Adina rated it it was amazing. Normally I don't give 5 stars to books I wouldn't count among my all-time favorites.
However, this is probably my all-time favorite biography.
The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century
This excellently written work of nonfiction seamlessly melds chronology and theme to create a multi-faceted portrait of a fascinating, but ironic, individual. Jul 20, Andy Wiggins rated it it was amazing. Life in the United States today is impacted in so many ways by this one man. This book gives the details needed to see how and why. Read alongside Halberstam's The Reckoning for even more understanding of the culture in which we live. Sep 15, Collette Mcdonough rated it it was amazing. This book is an excellent book on the man who made America a country devoted to the automobile.
Watts does not only talk about the greatness that was Ford but also the bad side too. I like the way the chapters are organized. Jan 22, Jeff Koslowski rated it it was amazing. This book is a must read for anyone who has an interest in Henry Ford or any of the history in which he had a role. Jul 30, Michael rated it it was amazing. Just a magnificent read. Thank goodness for Steven Watts compiling this magnificent tale of truth.
I highly recommend reading this book. The first half of the book was very good, quite enjoyable. The last half of the book was a bit slower but overall the book is a very good look at Henry Ford and the creation of the Ford Motor Company. Jun 25, Erin rated it liked it.
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