Summary of The People's Tycoon

Henry Ford and the American Century

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The People's Tycoon book summary
Drive down the road with the inventive, irascible, contradictory and completely fascinating Henry Ford.


9 Overall

6 Importance

8 Innovation

9 Style


Henry Ford did not invent the automobile, but he invented something bigger - twentieth century America. It is no exaggeration to say that without Ford’s system of production, without his understanding of the mass market, without his Model T, that century would have been a very different phenomenon. Ford epitomized the contradictions, complexities and confusion of that America. Self-taught and utterly confident in what he knew, he despised what he did not know. A radical who created an industrial cornucopia for workers by introducing the five-dollar daily wage, he was an industrial tyrant who hired organized criminal gangs to intimidate labor union organizers. strongly recommends this thorough biography. Author Steven Watts offers a new way of looking at the facts, and at Ford - and does so with engaging style.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Who Henry Ford really was, as revealed by his life story
  • What impact he had on twentieth century American history and culture


The People’s Tycoon
In 1919, Henry Ford found himself on the witness stand being cross-examined by a lawyer for the Chicago Tribune. Ford had filed a libel lawsuit against the Tribune for describing him as "an ignorant anarchistic enemy of the nation." The lawyer...
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About the Author

Steven Watts is professor of history at the University of Missouri. He is the award-winning author of four books, including The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life and Practicing Primitive: A Handbook of Aboriginal Skills.

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