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The New Men

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"For us, the new man, he is one of two things. First, he is the new worker, a man we instruct and investigate until his probation is complete. But also he is an idea. In the foundry, they make parts. On the line, they make autos. But in Sociological, we make men."

Tony Grams comes to America at the start of the twentieth century, set on becoming a new man. Driven to leave p
Paperback, 278 pages
Published May 2014 by Wayzgoose Press
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Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historal-ficton
This was an interesting story which is a historical fiction about one man, his family and the Ford company program. It was hard in Italy people had to do what they had to do to get by. Tony’s father gets into a little trouble once all is taken care of he moves his family to the states where the story takes off. This is a book about morals, working for what you get and being the best you can be. This story covers a lot of issues throughout history from spying, racism, morals, paranoia and a lot m ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Imagine a world where one corporation or even one especially well-respected and followed businessman, can influence society down to the very choices that ordinary people made about who they married, where they lived and how they conducted their private lives. Okay, we live in that world. The New Men explores how we got there. You may know already about the miracle of the $5 a day wage that Henry Ford paid his workers, effectively building the middle class that sustained his company’s legacy for ...more
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
*** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***

“The New Men” is a historical fiction that follows the life of Tony Grams. Tony is an immigrant from Italy who has taken a job with Ford Motor Co. during a time when Ford offered five dollars a day to employees while all others were only offering two. Tony doesn’t work on the assembly line but has an unusual job in the Sociological Department which is charged with making “new men”.

This book is a dry yet subtle foray into
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautifully written book of the life of Ford workers working in very troubled times. Prejudice and distrust was the way of the times. Ford himself wanted his workers to be a certain way and went to great lengths to ensure the success of his company. His employees had to live a certain way and act appropriately or else their jobs were in jeopardy. Before reading this book I never knew the history of Mr. Ford but my husband had seen a documentary on him so he wasn't at all surprised whe ...more
Jill Martin
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: )
Tony Gramas immigrated to the States from Italy in the early 1900s. He gets a job in the Ford plant in the Educational Department during the “Five Bucks a Day” era. Ford increased wages to $5 with benefits to keep their employees and keep turnover down. Tony’s job was to visit employees to judge whether they were living a clean life to qualify for profit-sharing bonuses. Early in the book, he meets beautiful Thia and they actually hook up a handful of times, but he was just a plaything for her. ...more
“In Sociological, we make men.”

So says Tony Grams, an Italian immigrant to America at the start of the twentieth century who joins the Ford Motor Company as an investigator, charged with looking into the life, standards, morals and family of the men who work for Henry Ford. In return for living a sober, dedicated life, the men who work on the Model T are offered the chance to double their wages... but only if the investigators of Sociological sign off on it. But as a worldwide war, racial tensio
Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1914 Henry Ford introduced a truly revolutionary idea - a $5 workday. The pay increase was in the form of profit sharing and the company had strict requirements for eligibility. To enforce this the Sociological department was created. Anthony Grams, an immigrant from Italy, is newly promoted to the department and believes he is part of something truly great. The job allows him to support his family and he's helping the company in creating a new work force. But Tony soon realizes the job isn't ...more
Diane Coto
Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This story is told by the protagonist, Tony Grams, whose father brought the family to America in 1899; Tony was only eight years old. As an adult, Tony was employed by Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan. In 1914, Ford introduced a Sociological Department which established rules of behavior for their employees. As encouragement, they dangled a $5 pay day rate to those employees who would allow themselves and their homes to be monitored by ‘investigators’. It enticed many as the $5 per day ra ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Jon Enfield provides a thoughtful and entertaining insight into Henry Ford's Five Dollar Day and the ramifications for the thousands of Ford workers.

Set at the beginning of the 20th century, in Detroit, the manufacturing of the Model T Ford provides and the decision to offer double the average hourly rate to keep staff turnover low provides new wealth for Fords workers. But it also leads to close supervision of family and home lives - to prevent a possible upsurge in drinking, gambling and deba
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I can’t fault this book for the amount of research that went into it, and as a work of historical fiction it felt both accurate and convincing. I very much enjoyed learning more about the burgeoning and increasingly successful Ford Motor Company in Detroit, where Henry Ford was building up not just a company but investing in a company ethos and a desire to build “new men” with a range of sociological methods to ensure his workers remained committed – indeed beholden – to him. We follow the fortu ...more
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Marriage of History and Ficton

I awarded this book five stars because it's a jolly good read. I am a historian normally studying America in the period 1910 to1945. This book is a far better way for the casual reader to learn a little history and enjoy the time reading it. I only wish it was longer!
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This literary and inventive novel offers interesting characters and a compelling plot, as well as a fascinating look at parts of American history that are not often covered in historical fiction.

You can read my full review here:
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Expected so much more from this book. Wanted insight into the lives of the workers who were being 'educated' by Ford. What I got was a story that was disjointed and difficult to follow. ...more
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Jon Enfield has written for a range of audiences and publications. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Poetry Ireland Review, Underground Voices, Xavier Review, and He is a former fiction editor of Chicago Review, and he taught writing at the University of Southern California for several years. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago for his dissertation on t ...more

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