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I have always had a fascination with cars. Back in the fifties I use to think the car’s looked beautiful but now they all look the same. I remember in High School I was furious because the administration would not allow me to take auto shop, they said only boys could take the course. I do enjoy reading about automobiles planes and ships and now no one call tell I cannot read the book.
Americans are a nation of car cultures, plural. Automobile racing is a popular spectator sport. The early adoption of the automobile for private transportation and the restoration of old cars to the making of street rods are popular.
It is surprising that there are few authoritative scholarly histories of automobile companies written. Last year I read the biography of Henry Ford and found it most interesting. So when I saw this book on Chrysler displayed on Audible, I bought it.
Hyde tells the story behind Chrysler- its products, people and performance over time with particular focus on the company’s management including Lee Iacocca. The author begins with the story of Walter P Chrysler in 1925 and ends with the merger of Chrysler and Daimler-Benz in 1998. I was hoping this was a biography of the Chrysler brothers but it is primarily a business history book. Hyde discusses assembly line production and the architecture of automobile plants and their management. Hyde is an economic historian and an industrial archaeologist. He is a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1974.
The book is balanced and Hyde does not shy away from making critical observations. I found the book an interesting story of the smaller component of the big three American auto companies. Dave K. Lawson narrated the book.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
I did struggle through some of it. it's a great story, but there is a lot detail given for an audio book. for example, do I need to know the share price went from 23 dollars and 33 cents to 28 dollars and 28 cents?
After reading this book, you will likely have more of an appreciation for Chrysler an Bob Lutz.
You may also have a little less appreciation for Lee Iaccoca.