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The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century
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The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  275 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
How a Michigan farm boy became the richest man in America is a classic, almost mythic tale, but never before has Henry Ford’s outsized genius been brought to life so vividly as it is in this engaging and superbly researched biography.

The real Henry Ford was a tangle of contradictions. He set off the consumer revolution by producing a car affordable to the masses, all the
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Published January 22nd 2008 by Random House Audio (first published August 9th 2005)
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May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a book that focuses on the history of the Ford Company, the company from a business point of view detailing yearly turnovers, profitability statistics, capital structure and such, this is not the book for you. This book instead focuses on the man who brought the company into being, Henry Ford (1863 – 1947). Of course we do learn about the company, but we learn so much more about his life, his family, his friends, his quirks, his goals and principles as well as what he soug ...more
Donovan Foote
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is organized by chapters describing a character trait. Which means you may go through a decade learning about him and his relationships as they pertain to that trait. Then in the next chapter, jump back and learn about the relationships as they pertain to another trait. In some ways this felt repetitive although technically it wasn't. Overall it paints the picture of a remarkable, complex and flawed man. A very thorough account of his life.
Apr 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This biography of one of America's most fascinating individuals, was very enlightening. I never knew he had a rocky relationship with his son, Edsel, or his anti-Semantic views. I never knew he had espoused social causes, even developing a sociology department within his company in the early years. I was interested to learn his close relationship with Thomas Edison and was surprised about his friendship with George Washington Carver.

I enjoy an occasional biography. I wish the author had spent le
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Being a "Detroiter" and having known of Henry Ford in general terms only slightly prepared me for this marvelous, well researched and thought provoking book. Often bibliographers become so enamoured with their subject that the "story" reeks of revisionist nonsense. Mr. Watts tells the Ford story "warts and all." It is an utterly fascinating tale about a somewhat overlooked subject.
A superb business biography, on a par with my favorite biography of all time, Ron Cernow's TITAN. Steven Watts does an outstanding job in presenting the numerous contradictions of the character of Henry Ford, who turned out to be a much more fascinating individual than I had expected him to be. I intend to add much more to this review, but in summary I found it amazing that a man of Ford's huge vision, who could foresee how his concepts of inexpensive and easy to maintain automobiles for the mas ...more
Don O'goodreader
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, history
Around 100 years ago Henry Ford had an idea that made him a billionaire. Today's business folks (aka Republicans) seem to have forgotten the concept entirely: "The people who consume the bulk of the goods [and services] are the people who make them. That is a fact we must never forget - that is the secret of our prosperity," and, I add, the antithesis of "trickle-down" economics.

This and so much else is included in the recent Henry Ford biography, The People's Tycoon, by Steven Watts. Though it'
Tom Schulte
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems a large and forebidding task to try and paint a balanced picture of such a complex and even contradictory man. His huge effect on industry and the nation included social activism in anti-war and education areas, museum building and this was colored by bigotry, moralistic paternalism belied by his actions, and poor labor relations.

I had previously an overly simplistic view of Ford's inventive prowess: He invented the assembly line and not the car, right? It is more interesting than that
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Troubling. Did not know all this about Henry Ford. Recommended.

Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biographies are my favorite and Steven Watt's bio on Henry Ford is one of my favorites. This book delves into not only what this man accomplished in his life but also the character that drove him. Watt does an excellent job of uncovering the his motivations, and contrasting strengths and weaknesses that made Ford one of the most notable figures of the early twentieth century.

Ford is portrayed as both genius of mechanics and marketing right along side his tendencies toward domineering and bigotry
Aaron Kleinheksel
I readily admit I read this book primarily due to my interest in the time period, particularly concerning the nascent American automotive industry and especially the development of the Model T.

The strength of this book is that in many places it is as much a Social History of turn-of-the-last-century America as it is a chronicle of Henry Ford. This is explained by the fact that American social history is the author's area of expertise. I also enjoyed the early chapters describing Ford's early lif
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