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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Arthur Herman pens this fascinating look at how two businessmen turned the U.S. into a military powerhouse during World War II. In 1940, FDR asked General Motors CEO William Knudsen to oversee the production of guns, tanks, and planes needed for the war. Meanwhile, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser presided over the building of “Liberty ships” - vessels that came to symbolize America’s great wartime output.
©2012 Arthur Herman (P)2012 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By G. Sanders on 08-26-12

Enlightening. Amazing, Great Narration

Would you listen to Freedom's Forge again? Why?

I have been waiting for this book to come out on audio since I saw the author's on TV promoting it.

WWII has always fascinated me and I have always wondered how quickly after the attack on Pearl Harbor the U.S. was able to convert its factories to producing the materials needed for war. The surprising fact I learned from this book was planes, ships, tanks, and guns were already being produced and production was on the upswing.

Yes I will be listening to this book several times. Today we have no clue how primitive our factories were and how long it took to retool machines. It took the foresight of a few political leaders to start early to save Britain by getting the best individuals (regardless of party affiliations) and ask them to serve (for no salary).

This book is great for WWII enthusiasts and business historians. It illustrates what can be done when there is a will to do it.

A fascinating miss link in the annals of WWII literature.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Which character – as performed by John McDonough – was your favorite?

It is a straight read for the most part but the narrator is outstanding.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sher from Provo on 03-15-13


I'm still not sure why I enjoyed this book so much. I was fascinated by it, while at the same time wondered if I were the only person in the world who was. The premise of this book is a review of all the events that helped ready America to enter WWII with the power that would soon end it. In the meantime, so many new inventions, technologies and ideas were put into play that America emerged from the war as the world leader it was for so many years. This part was compelling to me, but so were the people who happened to "be at the right place at the right time" that brought it all to pass. These things could only have taken place in a country where freedom allowed it. It is freedom that fosters forward, productive thinking and doing. Without it, we stifle ourselves. Here is a prayer for the future, that we don't let go of the precious little freedom remaining to us.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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