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Car Wars: Fifty Years of Greed, Treachery, & Skulduggery in the Global ..... Hardcover – 1 Jan 1995

2.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1st Ed.(U.S.) edition (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559703334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559703338
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,499,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I heard the author, Jonathon Mantle on a radio show and became quite excited by the prospect of reading his book. It seemed like an accessible yet critical analysis of the car industry from a decidely non-"Car and Driver" enthusiasts point of view. Unfortunately, it turns out the entire book is just a gloss, very short chapters that are almost contentless. I felt cheated. Important subjects are mentioned and then left, some longer chapters are on mundane issues such as industrial sabotage while really important issues such as the collusion of car and chemical industries to destroy public transportation are only briefly noted. The saving grace was a very good apendix and bibliography that should have been used more in the body of the book. I thought the whole thing a very weak effort. If I could I would return the book to Amazon for a refund.
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Format: Hardcover
His historical research is pretty poor when in the page 92 he wrote: "In 1967, President Salinas of Mexico had asked Volskwagenwerk to build the Mexican peoples' car".
In 1967, the mexican president was Díaz Ordaz, and Salinas took office until 1988.
And in the same page too, when talking about that the Volskwagen succeeded as a masses car in Africa and Latin-America he writes :
"...the Beetle had become the vehicle of freedom and mobility for races whom Hitler and Speer would have damned as Untermenschen (subhuman) and consigned to Nacht und Nebel (night and fog = gas chamber)"
What's the point of this comment Mr Mantle?
Through all the book the author seems to be interested in remarking the Nazi background of Henry Ford, the Ford Co. and GM as a way of celebrating them, it seems.
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Format: Hardcover
On 1997-08-12, this book came in, I had dinner and when I put out the light it was beyond 1 a.m. Hadn't done that in a while - finished it all. "I didn't know that!" kept me reading.
Amazing under-cover stories complete with references. Another piece in the puzzle why we still pollute the planet with our chemical engines. Read this again every 5 years (I hope it will be updated).
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Format: Paperback
Interesting chronology of what went on from a certain perspective.
Not really the reference book I was looking for, but others could find it a more interesting read. I still haven't finished it as I did not find it that interesting, but maybe I'll come back to it sometime.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, but poor follow through 7 Nov. 1997
By robertl@fagmed.uit.no - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I heard the author, Jonathon Mantle on a radio show and became quite excited by the prospect of reading his book. It seemed like an accessible yet critical analysis of the car industry from a decidely non-"Car and Driver" enthusiasts point of view. Unfortunately, it turns out the entire book is just a gloss, very short chapters that are almost contentless. I felt cheated. Important subjects are mentioned and then left, some longer chapters are on mundane issues such as industrial sabotage while really important issues such as the collusion of car and chemical industries to destroy public transportation are only briefly noted. The saving grace was a very good apendix and bibliography that should have been used more in the body of the book. I thought the whole thing a very weak effort. If I could I would return the book to Amazon for a refund.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Potential, Nevertheless a Great Fall 11 Oct. 1999
By Sang Won Park - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I liked the book - a lot. But there were too mant questions left unaswered. Frankly, if Mr.Mantle published all the materials as a different book that he would have collected for writing this, that may answer a lot. In short, he cut too much out of a great length of fascinating and valuable information.
Please, do write it again, or revise this book fully. I will buy that. For the time being, this book is just a reference of chaos. And a damn good one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read look behind the scenes for the car enthusiast. 15 Aug. 1997
By Bernd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
On 1997-08-12, this book came in, I had dinner and when I put out the light it was beyond 1 a.m. Hadn't done that in a while - finished it all. "I didn't know that!" kept me reading.
Amazing under-cover stories complete with references. Another piece in the puzzle why we still pollute the planet with our chemical engines. Read this again every 5 years (I hope it will be updated).
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful overview of the global auto industry 21 Feb. 2005
By Paul Eckler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Author Jonathan Mantle is a multinational, who "divides his time between New York, London, and the Far East." His book gives us a crisp overview of the global auto industry, but mostly covers post World War II developments to 1994. He focuses on several themes. One is the relationship between Nazi Germany and the later role of various participants in the auto industry. His story begins with the development of what became the Volkwagen. Dr. Porsche and Louis Renault were possible Nazi collaborators. Both Ford and General Motors continued to operate their plants in Germany during World War II and were major suppliers of trucks and half-tracks to the Third Reich. GM's Opel subsidiary also made engines for Messerschmidts including Germany's jet engine.

Another theme is the development of "people's cars," smaller, affordable automobiles for the masses-especially as Europe recovered from World War II. The VW Beetle was the most successful of these, but others include Fiat's Nuova Cinquecento, Citroen's Deux Chevaux (2CV), the Morris Mini Minor, Ford of Britain's Cortina, East Germany's Trabant, and Korea's Hyundai Pony. He mentions the Ford Pinto and the Chevy Vega, but generally covers only selected aspects of the US story.

A third theme is the introduction of auto manufacturing technology to developing countries. The story of Japan, Korea, and the Soviet Union are told in detail. There is some mention of efforts throughout the globe.

Finally, Mantle describes the labor struggles especially in Europe. The demise of the British auto industry was caused by strong unions and inflexible work rules. Similar stories are told of Italy. Successful efforts to reach workable union compromises in the US and Germany are also described.

Inevitably a complete chronology of industry sinks into details of various companies' marketing efforts. The latter half of the book tends to get bogged down, though the author makes a valiant effort to focus on major developments. But this leaves a story without a climax. The dialogue continues to 1994 and ends with a brief epilogue.

This is a useful overview of the global auto business with the history of major players. The author does a reasonable job of hitting the high points. References. Select bibliography. Index.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book tainted with racists comments and research errors 17 May 1998
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
His historical research is pretty poor when in the page 92 he wrote: "In 1967, President Salinas of Mexico had asked Volskwagenwerk to build the Mexican peoples' car".
In 1967, the mexican president was Díaz Ordaz, and Salinas took office until 1988.
And in the same page too, when talking about that the Volskwagen succeeded as a masses car in Africa and Latin-America he writes :
"...the Beetle had become the vehicle of freedom and mobility for races whom Hitler and Speer would have damned as Untermenschen (subhuman) and consigned to Nacht und Nebel (night and fog = gas chamber)"
What's the point of this comment Mr Mantle?
Through all the book the author seems to be interested in remarking the Nazi background of Henry Ford, the Ford Co. and GM as a way of celebrating them, it seems.
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