- File Size: 14805 KB
- Print Length: 389 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (June 3, 2014)
- Publication Date: June 3, 2014
- Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FJ5EPVG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,904 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War Kindle Edition
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|Length: 389 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From the Inside Flap
The Arsenal of Democracy tells the incredible story of how Detroit answered the call, centering on Henry Ford and his tortured son, Edsel. When FDR asked American industry to deliver 50,000 airplanes, Edsel made an outrageous claim: Ford Motor Company would erect the largest airplane factory in the world, a factory that could yield a bomber an hour. Critics scoffed: Ford didnt make planes; they made simple, affordable cars. But bucking his fathers resistance, Edsel charged ahead. The Fords would apply assembly-line production to the American militarys largest, fastest, most destructive bomber; they would build a plant vast in size and ambition and call it Willow Run; they would bring in tens of thousands of workers from across the country, transforming Detroit, almost overnight, from Motor City to the great arsenal of democracy. And eventually they would help the Allies win the war.
Drawing on exhaustive research from the Ford Archives, the National Archives, and the FDR Library, A. J. Baime has crafted an enthralling, character-driven narrative of American innovation that has never been fully told, leaving readers with a vivid new portrait of Americaand Detroitduring the war.
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This book is the story of the run up to the war, how the Ford family handled requests for war production and the making of the largest factory ever in the United States to make the B 24 Liberator bomber. While Henry was against any war time manufacturing, his son Edsel made the daring promise to the government of being able to produce a bomber an hour, which everyone thought was impossible to do.
The story weaves details of the life of the Fords, the conditions in the factories, the pressures of war time manufacturing and the tensions between Washington and the individual companies, as well as tension between companies and labor.
It is a fascinating look at a small, but very important piece of war time production. It is very well written and researched and would be a wonderful read for anyone with a bent toward World War II or to the history of manufacturing.
Few Americans realize the critical role played by American industry in defeating Germany and Japan. This book covers but a narrow slice of the story.
I never realized the extent of the contribution of American industry to the war effort in the 1940's. The author doesn't just glorify the participants and players. You read about the frailties and inevitable human failures, balanced against the will to overcome and succeed as one. Reading about the patriotism and unity that allowed this country to achieve stratospheric industrial production levels that confounded, humbled and ultimately overcame our enemies across 2 oceans and 3 continents brought forth tears. Tears not just for what we accomplished then, but also for how far we have fallen. Looking at our fractured and dysfunctional political system and self-serving polarization of the masses, I wonder if we could ever again achieve such grandeur, such strength and focus from a unified effort towards a common goal.
However it was not as in depth as I was expecting. It focused more on the struggle between Henry I and Edsel than on mobilization. Almost nothing was included about the other car companies.
From the war side, there was pretty slim details. For instance, the Battle of the Bulge wasn't even mentioned.
From the Ford side, I have read more details in other books.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book.
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