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

by Steven Watts
614 pages
Alfred A. Knopf
Published: Aug 2005

Henry Ford (1863-1947) is best remembered as the founder of Ford Motor Company, the automaker which still bears his name. But in his own time he was renowned for his Model T cars and for instituting a “living wage” for his employees at a time when that concept wasn’t even embryonic.

Those facts alone would suggest Ford as a superb biographical subject. But other qualities – and captivating contradictions – also make him compelling: he was a relentless self-promoter (but a very hard worker), a notoriously bad day-to-day business manager (but an unmatched visionary) and aggressively promoted Victorian-era moral standards (while conducting a three-decade affair)…

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