Imatge de l'autor
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Sobre l'autor

Steven Watts is a professor of history at the University of Missouri.
Nota de desambiguació:

(eng) Please do not combine Steven Watts and Steven M. Watts. They are different authors.

Crèdit de la imatge: Sherrie Goettsch

Obres de Steven Watts


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
University of Missouri (PhD|History|1984)
university professor emeritus
University of Missouri
Nota de desambiguació
Please do not combine Steven Watts and Steven M. Watts. They are different authors.



I finished The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century by Steven Watts.

Henry Ford is a dichotomy of a man who brought forth a new American Industrial Revolution while at the same time embracing a more old fashioned outlook on life. A man who often showed disdain for “book learning “ while at the same time embracing the need for education. A man who created a new system of consumerism and made commonplace the idea that every family should and would have an automobile, he perfected the assembly line for the manufacture of his beloved Model T while at the same time being wedded to an America centered on the farm.

Filled with anachronisms he loved technology but embraced a more traditional America. A progressive who wanted to raise the standard of living of his employees so the could take part in the new wave of consumerism while fighting the acceptance of unionization. A pacifist who ultimately allowed his company to be part of the World War II war effort. A man who did all he could to educate African Americans and help them participate and share in the American dream but also virulently Anti-Semitic and early on somewhat sympathetic to the Nazi movement and Hitler’s Germany.

He put more faith in others than his own son Edsel Ford in the running of the Ford Motor Company and as he grew older grew more autocratic and surrounded by sycophantic yes men.

A great American and 20th century industrialist filled with a multitude of weaknesses. A more complicated yet simple man will be hard to find. A fascinating book on a fascinating man which I would encourage those interested in Henry Ford to read.
… (més)
dsha67 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 17, 2021 |
A biography of Hugh Hefner is not complete without delving into the Playboy Mansion, the rotating round bed and the infamous grotto …I understand that. A biography of Hugh Hefner is not complete without looking at Mr. Hefner’s personal sexual philosophy … I get that too. This book offers just a little too much of all that. Titillating? Not so much … parts of this book could have been called The American “Wet” Dream.

Okay, with that rant out of the way, the rest of book was extremely interesting. His childhood and college years, his relationship with his first wife and all the experiences that eventually translated into Playboy Magazine were interesting. His “mission statement” for the magazine and his dedication to making it newsworthy, intellectual and always current was enlightening. There is no doubt that the introduction of Playboy changed the sexuality of the times. Mr. Watts did an admirable job in conveying all the information.

Overall it was a interesting book about an even more interesting man.
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ChristineEllei | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Jul 14, 2015 |
I guess years ago I may have read Carnegie's famous work "How to Win Friends and Influence People", though I can't say I remember much about it other than keep a positive attitude with a lot of enthusiasm, and have a smile on your face. Simple stuff in reality but effective enough that it made Carnegie famous, a fortune, and an organization the exists to this day. This book covers Carnegie's life in overall a positive light treading a couple of times on his foibles in his personal life. It got boring at times as it delves into the development of his methodologies over his long career. But it also provided a lot of food for thought in how individuals over the years have been able to spin a viewpoint on achieving success in life that so taps into what people crave. There is a fine line between achieving success and manipulation in this realm but it can be argued that Carnegie by and large did a lot of good for a lot of people.… (més)
knightlight777 | Jun 26, 2014 |
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 traits. Ford was as doer and early on saw his mission to develop a vehicle that would be affordable to the masses and also build an industry that would deliver well paying jobs that in turn would fuel demand for his car. Generally he had this right but this focused vision also led him astray as he refused to change with the times and demands of consumers.

A man of many contradictions he portrayed himself as a simple man of the people and behind the scenes took care in promoting this image in marketing his products. After achieving initial success in the manufacturing process, setting new standards of efficiency, he crossed over in an attempt at social engineering which he tried to shape to his standards. He would repeatedly resort to such tactics throughout his life and it would take its toll as his critics pointed out Ford's rigid views on how one should conduct their life. In his personal life Ford saw fit to conduct a secret life of infidelity and rode his son Edsel essentially to an early grave.

Watt delivers a complete picture of Henry Ford as every aspect of his life is shown for what was in his era, both good and bad.
… (més)
knightlight777 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Aug 9, 2013 |


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