The epic struggle between a father and son and the building of a worldwide business empire In this retelling of the story of the rise of Ford Motors, journalist Richard Bak offers a daring new perspective on the human drama that helped shape one of the world's great business empires. No dry corporate history, Henry and Edsel focuses on the epic ...
The epic struggle between a father and son and the building of a worldwide business empire In this retelling of the story of the rise of Ford Motors, journalist Richard Bak offers a daring new perspective on the human drama that helped shape one of the world's great business empires. No dry corporate history, Henry and Edsel focuses on the epic battle of wills between the unyielding Henry Ford, his gifted son Edsel, and his "second son," the brutal and insidious Harry Bennet who rose from barroom brawler to become Henry's heir apparent. Bak dispels the common misperception of Edsel Ford as a weak and ineffectual manager, and explains that it was in fact Edsel's level-headedness and imaginative business solutions and that allowed the company to survive the many challenges to its survival in the first half of the twentieth century. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary celebration of Ford Motor Company, Henry and Edsel is sure to be warmly received by history buffs and business readers. Richard Bak (Detroit, MI) is a veteran journalist who has written widely on the Fords and the automobile industry.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-08-18 Bak (Detroit Across Three Centuries) gives new life to the well-known story of industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947) and his rise from Michigan farm boy to the powerful head of an automobile manufacturing company. Deeply interested in anything mechanical, Ford left the family farm to become a machinist's apprentice, an engineer, a race-car builder and, in 1903, founded the Ford Motor Company. In 1908, the company produced the Model T, a simply designed car for the average family that was wildly successful and made Ford a millionaire. Responsible for implementing the assembly line in the mass production of cars, Ford also initially provided his workers with a living wage. In this engrossing history, the author traces the power grabs at Ford Motor, focusing particularly on the relationship between Ford and his only son, Edsel, both of whom spring to life here. Although Ford initially planned to have Edsel take over the company, he relied on the advice of Henry Bennett, the tyrannical security chief, who thought that Edsel was a weakling. According to Bak, Edsel was a cultured, talented man and an expert at designing cars. He did not share his father's hatred of unions that translated into repeated violence against organizers. Ford outlived his son, who died of cancer, a death many believed to have been hastened by conflicts with his father. Despite their problems, Ford loved his son and was deeply grieved by his death. Fully documented here (though not for the first time) is Ford's virulent anti-Semitism, which he expressed through articles in the Dearborn Independent. Photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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