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

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Mar 4, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 656 pages
2 Reviews
How a Michigan farm boy became the richest man in America is a classic, almost mythic tale, but never before has Henry Ford’s outsized genius been brought to life so vividly as it is in this engaging and superbly researched biography.

The real Henry Ford was a tangle of contradictions. He set off the consumer revolution by producing a car affordable to the masses, all the while lamenting the moral toll exacted by consumerism. He believed in giving his workers a living wage, though he was entirely opposed to union labor. He had a warm and loving relationship with his wife, but sired a son with another woman. A rabid anti-Semite, he nonetheless embraced African American workers in the era of Jim Crow.

Uncovering the man behind the myth, situating his achievements and their attendant controversies firmly within the context of early twentieth-century America, Watts has given us a comprehensive, illuminating, and fascinating biography of one of America’s first mass-culture celebrities.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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User Review  - knightlight777 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

The people's tycoon: Henry Ford and the American century

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this outstanding biography, Watts (history, Univ. of Missouri), author of the intriguing and well-received The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life , turns his considerable ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Steven Watts is a historian and writer who has charted the sweeping evolution of American culture in a number of highly-praised books. His series of biographies of major figures—Henry Ford, Dale Carnegie, Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner—has explored the shaping of a modern value-system devoted to consumerism, self-fulfillment, leisure, and personality. Two earlier books on the Early Republic era examined the shift from an older society of republican virtue to a 19th-century Victorian era devoted to self-control, individual character, and the self-made man. 

Watts’ books have led to involvement in a number of media projects, including several films for PBS, the History Channel, and documentary venues in Germany and Brazil. He also has appeared in a variety of programs on CBS, NBC, CNBC, NPR, Fox, Fox News, C-Span, Bloomberg News, MSNBC, BBC, and Irish National Radio. He is currently a professor of history at the University of Missouri.

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