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Build 'Em by the Mile, Cut 'Em off by the Yard: How Henry J. Kaiser and the Rosies Helped Win World War II Paperback – October 1, 2011


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Build 'Em by the Mile, Cut 'Em off by the Yard: How Henry J. Kaiser and the Rosies Helped Win World War II + World War II Shipyards by the Bay   (CA)  (Images of America) + Detroit's Wartime Industry: Arsenal of Democracy (Images of America: Michigan)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Richmond Museum of History (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615648738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615648736
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As far back into his childhood as he can remember, Steve Gilford enjoyed talking with his and his friends’ parents and grandparents about their histories. Later, as a writer and producer of award-winning network television documentaries and radio news programs, he had the opportunity to interview literally hundreds of people from all sorts of backgrounds, including Nobel Laureates, whom he accompanied to Stockholm for a documentary about their research, and a cafe owner in a remote desert town in Utah for a peripatetic radio series. Twenty-five years ago, when his work as an independent writer and historian brought him to the former Kaiser Shipyards, he became fascinated with the story of how this place, in a few short years, went from marshland to the most productive shipyards in the history of the world and he began seeking out the people who made it happen.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. H. Moran on July 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Steve Gilford's most recent book "Build'Em by the Mile,cut'Em off by the Yard" is well researched and written. Interesting to read what was the impetus for Henry Kaiser to commit to the ideals of the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan which continues today. He was a man with a far reaching vision that no other person in his position could come close to. Although I would have to include Henry Ford who was also a visionary. The photos are clear and some that I've never seen before and I've done a lot of research on the Richmond Permanente Shipyards. Read how the Richmond shipyard astonished the world by building a Liberty ship in 4 days, 15 hours, and 29 minutes, setting a record that probably will never be beaten. You'll see what was Henry Kaiser's involvement with HK-1, better know as the Spruce Goose. This book is ideal reading for any historian looking for stories and amusing anecdotes of the San Francisco Bay Area during World War 2. This is a must for your collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melinda M McCrary on May 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading Build 'em by the Mile, Cut 'em off by the Yard. The book provided a good overview of the World War II Home Front experience in the San Francisco Bay Area and specifically the Richmond Shipyards. The book is written for the general reader and includes many personal anecdotes about life in the Shipyards. Good for those who are interested in women's history, because of the discussion of Rosie the Riveter. Also has a good section about the founding of the Kaiser Permanente health care system.
Honestly, reading this book made me want to go out and learn everything I could about the WWII home front experience! Great book about the little known heroes of WWII.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gordon S - NPS docent on August 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Gilford does a very thorough job covering Henry J Kaiser's accomplishments, with focus on ship building in Richmond and Portland/Vancouver. Of particular interest are the two chapters covering women in the workforce - the Rosie the Riveters. And a "bonus" is part Four regarding the pioneering pre-paid Kaiser Permanente health plan. Overall it is a very interesting and entertaining book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Judge on September 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
If you want to learn about how innovative industrialist Henry J. Kaiser applied smart construction and innovative labor strategies to mobilize an unskilled workforce into a mighty shipbuilding enterprise you might want to avail yourself of Steve Gilford’s book Build 'Em by the Mile, Cut 'Em off by the Yard: How Henry J. Kaiser and the Rosies Helped Win World War II .  The wartime shipbuilding efforts of Henry J. Kaiser are a marvelously compelling and yet ignored piece of American industrial history.  Transforming a mostly inexperienced, unskilled, racially integrated work force of 200,000 women and men into highly efficient ship builders is elevated further for the record setting accomplishment of constructing and launching a ship in 4.5 days where before conventional shipbuilding had taken a year or more.  Though the 'Rosie’s & Rob’s' were torch welders not riveters their home front accomplishments astonished enemy war planners as nearly impossible.  Henry J. Kaiser not only brought innovation to mass production he also introduced employee services of children’s day care and after school care centers, medical clinics and employee health care coverage which lead to the establishment of a major health care provider that today serves millions of members. This book reveals the brains and the sweat that went into defeating the Axis threat of World War II.  It is well researched and illustrated with period photographs.  Lay your keel on this shipway and you’re set for an eye opening, inspiring adventure of American "Can Do".
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