13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
History must be revised when any new and accurate information appears. Neil Baldwin's book, "Henry Ford And The Jews The Mass Production Of Hate", utilizes some information that was only opened from archives in March of 2001. Further, no matter how much time may pass, history as portrayed in this book must always be available to new generations of readers. I believe that the darker aspects of this country's or any nation's history, must be documented accurately and fairly. Reality has demonstrated that with the passage of time facts are forgotten, and become the target for revisionists who replace history with fiction. Historical events like The Holocaust have been defended in court within the last 2 years. The defense was required to prove The Holocaust took place.
Mr. Baldwin has documented the actions of one of the most influential businessmen of the 20th Century. Mr. Henry Ford's achievements in the production of his cars are a fact of history. Mr. Ford was a talented man, and had he confined himself to what he was competent to conduct, his memory would be a very different one. Mr. Ford is portrayed in this book by a wide variety of sources as a man who was amazingly ill informed, a man who placed no value on education, was a tyrant to those who made his fortune, and a man who had the distinction of having his portrait on the wall of Adolph Hitler's Office. Like other notable names in American History he accepted the highest honor bestowed on a non-German by Hitler. Another recipient Charles Lindbergh could claim he had no idea he was to be presented with the, "Honor". Mr. Ford accepted his on the occasion of his birthday with 1500 invited guests. Another famous recipient of the award was Mr. Thomas Watson of IBM fame. Of the 3 men, only the latter had the common sense to return the medal. Mr. Ford proudly stood for photographs of his presentation on July 30, 1938. At this point there is no conceivable defense for claiming not to know what Hitler was about.
Mr. Ford claimed to hate those who were profiteers of war. His views changed as Ford operated in Germany throughout World War II producing tens of thousands of military trucks and cars, and unlike other companies, Ford was never nationalized, and retained majority ownership throughout the war. As the Nazi's invaded other nations they handed the production of cars over to Ford.
It helps to bring the idea of how influential this man was forward in time. Today you would need to take the head of one of the world's largest companies, and then imagine his conducting himself as Ford did. Today it is inconceivable that a person could buy a newspaper for the express purpose of spreading Anti-Semitic hatred, that a person could publish countless thousands of copies of, "The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion", and continue to claim they were anything but the fiction they were. But this is what he did, for decades. He continually tried to force anyone who bought one of his cars to buy a subscription to his paper; he demanded that dealers tie his anti-Semitism to every sale.
Mr. Ford is often spoken of when better wages are discussed during his period in manufacturing history. What I had not read before was the private portion of the company that would inspect the homes and personal habits of workers to qualify them for this added pay. A worker was subject to any invasion of privacy to ensure he lived, as Ford deemed appropriate. Henry Ford never did anything that was not in his interest, and was not tangled in strings for those who would accept his "largesse".
The author was catalyzed to pursue this subject when The Ford Motor Company underwrote all the funds that would have been generated by selling commercials when, "Schindler's List", was first aired on television. This is the new Ford Company that came about almost immediately upon the founder's death. The present company in no way should be blamed for the sins of its founder, however after half a century has passed, the need to make amends is clearly still felt.
The book tells a tragic story of events that took place not so long ago. Events that will always be relevant should always be available, and never forgotten.