Wheels for the World by Douglas Brinkley
Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress

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Synopsis

Few endeavors in history can match Ford Motor Company's impact on human civilization. Launched a century ago by a bumptious squad of clever eccentrics-led by the odd visionary mechanic Henry Ford-the first mass-production auto manufacturer would push the rest of the industrialized world into the modern age. Along with other social upheavals, Ford's reasonably priced and well-made assembly-line Model T would mobilize America's middle class while the company's cleverly generous "$5 Day" did no less than redefine industrial labor relations.

In Wheels for the World, Douglas Brinkley, one of our most engaging historians, reveals the riveting details of Ford Motor Company's epic achievements, chronicling the outlandish success of the Tin Lizzie to the beloved Model A through the glory days of the Thunderbird, Mustang, and Taurus, as well as the revolutionary plants where they were built-Highland Park and River Rouge. Brinkley tells of the amazing acquisitions of Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Mazda in the 1990s. His narrative also explores Ford Motor Company's darker aspects, from its founder's anti-Semitism, ill-considered wartime pacifism, and disloyalty-not only to the cohorts who made him the richest man of his time but also to his only son.

Along the way, Brinkley introduces us to the whole cast of colorful characters-from the irascible early brains of the outfit, later U.S. Senator James Couzens; to feisty Me-Decade CEO Lee Iacocca to the earnest young chairman and CEO of today, William Clay Ford, Jr.-whose dedication and vision have created a lustrous legacy around the world. What distinguishes Wheels for the World is not only the freshness of the fascinating new material that Brinkley has uncovered, but also the sweep of his story and the compelling clarity of his prose. In his many previous books, Brinkley has proven himself a master at crafting brilliant, accessible historical narratives and this is his finest achievement yet.
 

About Douglas Brinkley

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Patricia Daniels is an author and editor for National Geographic who has written, edited, or contributed to books on history, science, and geography, most recently the "National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space." She lives in State College, Pennsylvania. Stephen G. Hyslop has been a writer and editor for Time-Life Books and National Geographic, as well as author of "Bound for Santa Fe" and "Chroniclers of Indian Life." He lives in Virginia. Douglas G. Brinkley is the director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization and Professor of History at Tulane University. He authored two "New York Times" Best Sellers: "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War" and "Voices of Valor: D-Day; June 6, 1944." He is the official historian for "NBC News." Dr. Brinkley is contributing editor for the "Los Angeles Times Book Review" and "American Heritage" and a contributor to the "New York Times"and "The New Yorker.
 
Published April 28, 2003 by Viking Adult. 858 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, History, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wheels for the World

Publishers Weekly

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Two other histories of Ford are slated for publication this year; four were published last year. Brinkley, a University of New Orleans history professor, distinguishes his as the only "single v

Apr 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Wheels for the World: Henry F...

The New York Times

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Douglas Brinkley's history of the Ford Motor Company focuses on that American original, Henry Ford.

Jun 29 2003 | Read Full Review of Wheels for the World: Henry F...

Publishers Weekly

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Readers interested in the history of the Ford Motor Company can find accounts better-written (Robert Lacey's Ford: The Men and the Machine) and more authoritative (Allan Nevins's Ford, Companies and Men), but will value this book for its new details and quotes.

| Read Full Review of Wheels for the World: Henry F...

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