The People's Tycoon

  • by Steven Watts
  • Narrated by John H. Mayer
  • 29 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

How a Michigan farm boy became the richest man in America is a classic, almost mythic tale, but never before has Henry Ford's outsized genius been brought to life so vividly as it is in this engaging and superbly researched biography. The real Henry Ford was a tangle of contradictions. He set off the consumer revolution by producing a car affordable to the masses, all the while lamenting the moral toll exacted by consumerism. He believed in giving his workers a living wage, though he was entirely opposed to union labor. He had a warm and loving relationship with his wife, but sired a son with another woman. A rabid anti-Semite, he nonetheless embraced African American workers in the era of Jim Crow. Uncovering the man behind the myth, situating his achievements and their attendant controversies firmly within the context of early twentieth-century America, Watts has given us a comprehensive, illuminating, and fascinating biography of one of America's first mass-culture celebrities.

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What the Critics Say

"The implicit claim of Watts's admirable book is almost inarguable that it's impossible to understand 20th-century America without knowing the story of Henry Ford." (The New York Times)
"Ford has had many biographers. . . . None, however, comes close to Steven Watts. . . . He brilliantly reveals the nature of Ford's genius." (Chicago Tribune)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

disappointing

Looked forward to this book (2 credits) but found myself skipping past parts as it got very repetitive. The author makes the same point again and again. Would have been better abridged!
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- John

50% Longer than it needed to be.

I was interested in learning about the man who perhaps more than any other was instrumental in creating modern America. While the book provides a detailed and linear history the story is ponderous, repetitive and lacks any real drama.

The book does an excellent job pointing out Henry Ford's many contradictions and makes no effort to whitewash the unflattering elements of his life (his anti-semitism in particular).

John H. Mayer, the narrator does an effective job or leading you through the story.
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- Chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-21-2008
  • Publisher: Books on Tape