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American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307886050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307886057
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A standout…brimming with smart observations and fresh insights into Ford’s success.” –Alex Taylor, Fortune
 
“Fly-on-the-wall accounts of Mulally negotiating deals and Ford overcoming challenges from the inside and outside…A paean to the ingenuity, grit and optimism that once defined American industry and to capitalism played with government on the sidelines.” Reuters
 
“A compelling narrative that reads more like a thriller than a business book.” New York Times
 
“A must-read.” Huffington Post
 
“A fascinating read for anyone who follows the car industry.” –Financial Times

“A Detroit News journalist’s in-the-room account of the resurrection of America’s most storied car company…With colorful anecdotes, sharp character sketches, telling details and a firm understanding of the industry, Hoffman fleshes out every aspect of this tale, reminding us of the hard work, tension, and high-stakes drama that preceded the successful result.” —Kirkus

“Bryce Hoffman has done a stellar job of capturing the Ford storyand more to the point showing us how Mulally did it.  American Icon is a story of leadership that offers valuable lessons for organizations of all sizes.” —Lee Iacocca

“Bryce G. Hoffman’s American Icon brilliantly recounts the Lazarus-like resurgence of the Ford Motor Company under the bold and inspiring leadership of CEO Alan Mulally. Hoffman, one of America’s best auto industry reporters, has written a timely book about the relevance of Ford that serves as a larger metaphor for America at large. Highly recommend!” —Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University, and author of Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress
 
“Bryce Hoffman has written a riveting tome based on deep insider information about the resurrection of the Ford Motor Company from a near death experience and the establishment of a business model that promises to be a prototype for large organizations of all types. It features the transformation from a top-down style of leadership to that of a coach led by CEO Alan Mulally whose focus is the team, the team, the team.” —David E. Cole, chairman emeritus, Center for Automotive Research
 
“From the precipitous demise of an American icon through decades of infighting and self-destructive management to a turnaround not only financial but also in terms of forging the foundation of a new, healthy culture, this book reads like an un-put-downable novel. Bryce Hoffman’s amazing inside access tells the story of how Alan Mullally built on Henry Ford’s own management principles—which quickly got lost in the company—and created one company, with one purpose and a passion for product and customers. A great story.” —Jeffrey Liker, professor, University of Michigan, and author of The Toyota Way

Amazing. I would give Alan Mulally twelve D’s for his work at Ford, for Discipline, Data, Daring, Determination, Design, Direction, Decisiveness, Delivery, Doubt-Free, Debt Free, Downsizing, and of course, Dearborn.  I thought I was disciplined until I read how Mulally worked. Bryce is a gifted writer, and American Icon is both educational and entertaining.  Most telling of allI learned from reading this book.” —Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort, and author of Creating Magic
 
“After decades of stories about the failure of America’s traditional industries to meet world competition, it is heartening to encounter a signal success. But Bryce Hoffman’s rendering of how Alan Mulally reversed the fortunes of Ford Motor is more than heartening; it is riveting. Almost certainly one of the best business books of the year.” —H. W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of Traitor to His Class and The First American

“This superbly reported book is not just about cars. It is an authoritative and inspiring account of leadership, management, corporate culture, and the prospects for American manufacturing.”John Taylor, author of Storming the Magic Kingdom

About the Author

BRYCE G. HOFFMAN is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began cov­ering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. That beat gave him a front-row seat for many of the events chronicled in American Icon. Hoffman has been honored by the Society of American Business Edi­tors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the automaker. He lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

More About the Author

BRYCE G. HOFFMAN is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began cov­ering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. That beat gave him a front-row seat for many of the events chronicled in his upcoming book, American Icon, which will be released on March 13, 2012. Hoffman has been honored by the Society of American Business Edi­tors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world's foremost authorities on Ford. He lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

Very well written and a great story.
Michael Sarnacki
I highly recommend this "business book that reads like a novel" to any and all readers.
Terry Sunday
What an inspiring story about Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, and the Ford motor company.
Mary A.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I highly recommend that you read this book and fully agree with what the other positive reviewers are saying about it. This book itself was not just a good read about a stalwart man, and an incredible company, it is an epic tail of a Great American Manufacturing Dynasty brought back from the brink of extinction. Reading it really inspired me to learn even more about Mulally, The Ford Motor Company, and their products. After reading the book, or while you wait for it to arrive, check out some of the videos and movies about Alan Mulally on the internet. His appearances at local universities, on late night talk shows, and in a documentary done about his work at Boeing all make for really interesting supplements to this book.

This book is different from, but every bit as well done as Walter Isaacson's book on Steve Jobs. Both of the biographies are appealing in many of the same ways. You get a history lesson, a solid business book, a solid overview of the automotive industry, a human interest story, and a biography not just of Mulally but also of other key people in the industry. You also get a really fully developed business case study that demonstrates the lessons of teamwork, core competency, strategic management, benchmarking, business ethics, the importance of liquidity among many other concepts. Although Steve Jobs and Alan Mulally are as different as two men can be, I see similarities in their importance, vision, and impact on the World. Their biographers and their biographies are also very different, but again similar in quality and importance.

The factual accuracy of this book seems to be very good. Bryce Hoffman has a lot of credibility in this part of the country and it doesn't seem that he has any agenda except to tell the story and write a good book.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By James Korsmo VINE VOICE on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Simply put, this book is a page-turner. And that's not what you'd normally expect from a business book. But there's a great story here, well told, that excites the mind.

There hasn't really been a bigger story in the last half-decade than the economy, and along with the banking and housing sectors, America's "big three" automotive manufacturers have been key players in that story. But amid an economy in decline and two cross-town rivals falling toward default, Ford managed to plot a different course. This book is the story of that startling rebirth. It briefly chronicles the history of Ford, appraising its ups and downs and the resulting corporate culture its history had created. And it looks at the trouble it was facing (along with the rest of the auto industry) in the mid 2000s. But things took a decisive change for Ford when Bill Ford Jr. volunteered to step aside as CEO and bring in outside help. And the person he tapped for that responsibility was Alan Mullaly, a top executive who had just led a resurgence at Boeing.

American Icon is really three books in one: It is an interesting piece of modern American history, chronicling the inside workings of a key economic player in the midst of historic economic troubles throughout the country and the world. It is also a business book, with thoughtful and inspiring ideas for rethinking corporate culture, business workflows, and entrenched mindsets with cross-functional teams, openness, responsibility, and a carefully focused but always updating plan. And third, it is an interesting biography of both Bill Ford Jr. and Alan Mullaly, giving insight into their personalities and approaches to business.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sneaky-sneaky VINE VOICE on March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Simply put, Ford is now exciting. Bryce Hoffman explains why and how. Alan Mullally was brought in to save a legend from itself, and he did just that. The Mulally model will probably be studied and taught for decades. Ford's culture was poisonous at so many levels. Bad products, bad policies, and a toxic culture of backstabbing and oneupmanship had culminated in what would be an inevitable end. Executives bugged each other's offices, phones were tapped, vehicles were overproduced and later sold at discounts; and that culture was decades old. Henry Ford started it all when a bunch of guys went behind his back, made some improvements to the Model T, and delivered a prototype. Ford destroyed it with a sledgehammer.
Bryce Hoffman was given unprecedented access and provides direct quotes from many of the defining moments and situations that occurred over the last decade, including talks with the Chrysler and GM CEOs, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, candidate Obama, the Ford heirs, and so on. There have been complaints that the book is overly optimistic bordering on worshipful. Well, all you need to do is look at the product. I walked around a dealership. Ford's new vehicles look great, and the company now has the highest quality rating for a non-luxury brand. In the book you read about the current advertising campaign that was conceived several years ago. Ford started off with 'One Ford' or something, and as quality improved, Mulally wanted to move to interviews with customers impressed with the new product; in other words using actual customers to sell great vehicles. And that is exactly what is happening today.
Mr. Hoffman has been an auto industry reporter for a number of years and knows what stories are relevant, where the bodies are buried, and where the shovels are at.
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