Billy, Alfred, and General Motors
- The Story of Two Unique Men, A Legendary Company, and a Remarkable Time in American History
- Narrated by: Dickson Lane
- Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 12-10-10
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
Regular price: $24.95
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You couldn't find two more different men. Billy Durant was the consummate salesman, a brilliant wheeler-dealer with grand plans, unflappable energy, and a fondness for the high life. Alfred Sloan was the intellectual, an expert in business strategy and management, master of all things organizational. Together, this odd couple built perhaps the most successful enterprise in U.S. history, General Motors, and with it an industry that has come to define modern life throughout the world. Their story is full of timeless lessons, cautionary tales, and inspiration for business leaders and history buffs alike.
Billy, Alfred, and General Motors is the tale not just of the two extraordinary men of its title but also of the formative decades of 20th-century America, through two world wars and sea changes in business, industry, politics, and culture. The book includes vivid, warts-and-all portraits of the legends of the golden age of the automobile, from "Crazy" Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, and Charles Nash to the brilliant but uncredited David Dunbar Buick and Cadillac founder Henry Leland.The impact of Durant and Sloan on their contemporaries and their industry is matched only by the powerful legacy of their improbable and incredible partnership. Characters, events, and context--all are brought skillfully and passionately to life in this meticulously researched and supremely readable book.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ray on 10-26-11
Not Only an Automotive History
Outstanding book. One doesn't have to be an automotive buff to enjoy this read.
It's also a good look into the early 20th century in general, and our industrial history as well. This isn't the only book to do so of course, but it's very interesting to watch as the now household names of Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile et al come in to existence. First as independents, then as General Motors.
The only draw back, and I rarely critique the narrator, but this reader's technique for quoting someone was to read in a false voice as if he were trying to sound like someone's grandmother - and doing a poor job of it no less. It was the same weird grandmother-like voice no matter who he was quoting.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Philo on 11-03-12
Terrific business history
The Flint-Detroit area must have been incredible back in the day when it was bustling with such inventive characters and energy. It was the Silicon Valley of its time. Buick, Chrysler, Ford and their contemporaries were as eccentric and diverse a bunch as one could imagine. One gets a sense of this age, when modern industries and amazing products were leaping onto the American stage, revolutionizing life. In the Alfred Sloane phase, we see too a different phase of American history unfold, as America's industrial giants assumed titanic proportions and management styles to fit. From a fan of good business history, this book is a well-blended mix of the lives (with all victories, quirks, foibles on display) , the finances, and the technologies, I found utterly listenable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful