- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: OUP USA (25 July 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195316924
- ISBN-13: 978-0195316926
- Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 3.6 x 15 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Henry Ford (Lives and Legacies) Hardcover – 25 Jul 2013
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Henry Ford is a brisk read, and one brimming with resonant detail. (Douglas Kennedy, The Times)
[A] succinct and illuminating narrative. (The Automobile)
Curcio's study is winningly even-handed and well researched. (Jonathan Wright, The Glasgow Herald)
About the Author
Vincent Curcio , a veteran theatrical manager-producer, is the author of Chrysler: The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius. A long-time car enthusiast, he divides his time between Union City, New Jersey, Paris, and the White Barn Theatre in Westport, Connecticut.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book has been excellently researched and contains much detail and insight. It would be hard to gather all this information from trawling the internet, so thanks Mr Curcio for doing the hard graft for us. A fascinating read for the businessman, the industrialist, and the modern historian.
In 1879 when he was sixteen Ford went to live and work in Detroit, walking the six miles from Dearborn. He was employed by the Michigan Car Company but only stayed six days, losing his job when he quickly solved a problem which senior hands had worked on for hours. Ford, not one for expressing his emotions, ruefully recorded, 'I learned then not to tell all you know'. He moved to another firm where he learned to make and read blueprints. He took a second job at a jewelers to cover his rent. He later worked for a shipbuilding company and studied typewriting, bookkeeping and mechanical drawing in the evenings. All work and no play did not turn Henry into a dull boy. He was popular with girls, never touched alcohol or tobacco, which he regarded as poisons, married in 1888 and gave his wife control of the family finances.
Although he had settled on the farm Ford never lost his interest in the development of engines to replace horses. This occurred at a time when 'remarkable things were happening in the world of science, technology, and....transportation'.Read more ›
This biography is a manageable length and is easy to read despite being an extremely American publication, not just in terms of the spelling but some of the phraseology. You have to remember all the way through that 'gas' is what we call 'petrol'! But the story is about a completely American man. That said, it is a remarkable story of a remarkable man who had virtually no education, was brought up on a farm and became a completely self-made industrialist on a vast scale. He was an extraordinary mixture of philanthropist and hard-nosed businessman with some completely inspired and brilliant ideas as well as some very wrong-headed opinions which nearly led him to disaster several times. He must also have had a very compelling personality to command such loyalty, and was also a huge champion of education and self-help for the under-privileged, employing handicapped and disadvantaged people at a time when no-one else would have dreamed of doing so. He gave liberally with one hand and at times took with the other pretty savagely and yet remained an American idol, nearly becoming a Senator and almost being persuaded to run for President. He had a hand in the most amazing amount of industries, many of which were a complete surprise to me and he should be remembered for many of his enterprises other than just cars. Well worth reading - and just the thing to give your Dad or brother for Christmas.
The jacket has a lovely oxymoron in the blurb 'succinctly exhaustive' and by the end you are left to wonder just who decided that the book should race over Ford's life with little depth. It seems that no original research was carried out for this biography and Ford is kept at arm's length.
Unfortunately you do come across the odd hack history expression, such as 'It took another 18 years for Daimler and Benz in Germany to make one of these engines work in a vehicle.', which not only makes it sound like they were working flat out during that time on that particular problem, but also that they worked together.
And Curcio uses the affected and nonsensical 'BCE' instead of BC. Perhaps he just wants to be seen as 'with it', but any historian willing to wipe out history for the sake of new dogma makes you wonder what else he is willing to tamper with.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Henry Ford was not a man you would want to cross, not one to forgive. However, if you worked well with him or served him well, then he would look after you. Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2013 by AlanMusicMan
What an amazing character he was. Brilliant and ( occasionally) repulsive and a bit of an idiot sometimes.
His achievements were incredible though. Read more
This was not my first biography of Henry Ford. The book is clearly well researched with detail I had not seen before. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2013 by B. Bello
An interesting and very readable biography about a complex and controversial man. Ford is known to so many from his extremely successful motor car business and his creation of the... Read morePublished on 3 Nov. 2013 by C Hicks
This is a really readable book on a very complicated man.I couldn't decide whether I looked or loathed Henry Ford but you can't ignore the fact that the man was a genius with a... Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2013 by JB
This Henry Ford biography is a interesting and readable introduction to this much maligned, but complex character. Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2013 by Spider Monkey
Vincent Curcio is a historian with a stellar reputation, and in this biography he has produced a brilliant, detailed account of the lives of one of the most famous industrialists... Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2013 by T. Richards
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