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The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 29, 2003


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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although Wallace (Who Killed Kurt Cobain?) is a recipient of Rolling Stone's Award for Investigative Journalism and appears to have done much primary research, he delivers a highly speculative rehash of material handled much better in A. Scott Berg's Lindbergh, Robert Lacey's Ford: The Man and the Machine and such seminal studies as Charles Higham's American Swastika. Wallace tries and fails to sensationalize well-known facts about the parochial American fifth column of the late 1930s and early '40s, a bungling movement of which Ford and Lindbergh were among the most public faces. Wallace sees a conspiracy in what he presents as Ford's pro-Nazi partnership with Lindbergh: a dark and powerful alliance designed to hinder the Allies at every turn. In fact, the two men were far more naive than effectual in their attempts to prop up American isolationism before Pearl Harbor. And Lindbergh, who counted Harry Guggenheim among his closest friends, found Ford's hatred of Jews repugnant. Once war was declared, both Lindbergh and Ford helped the Allied effort. Lindbergh helped develop the Corsair and later, as a "civilian observer," flew more than 25 combat missions over the South Pacific. At the same time, Ford (with Lindbergh's help, and after a few false starts) became the leading manufacturer of the B-24 bomber. Were Ford and Lindbergh half-witted dupes of Nazi propaganda before the war? Undoubtedly. Were they Nazi agents either before or after the start of hostilities? Wallace fails to make the case. 13 photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The American Axis provides insightful lessons about how the twin spectacles of power and hate operated in a previous generation."
--The Washington Post

"What a drama! Two of the most popular figures in 20th century America—Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh—pitted against a third—Franklin Delano Roosevelt—over what to do about Adolf Hitler. Max Wallace reminds us that the destiny of the republic hung in the balance in the Great Debate of 1940-41."
--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., author of The Age of Roosevelt and (with Robert F. Kennedy) Thirteen Days

"A tireless excavation of the dark facts surrounding Ford and Lindbergh's relationship with the Third Reich. Wallace's extensive investigation probes three and four layers deeper than others, pulls no punches, names names, and creates a powerful historical document."
--Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust

"Eye-opening . . . A finely wrought, careful, and utterly damning case that ought to prompt a widespread reevaluation of both Ford and Lindbergh."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A seminal book, groundbreaking in its documentation of American celebrity collaboration with the Third Reich. Max Wallace exposes Henry Ford as an amoral business thug who promoted anti-Semitism and Nazism for profit. Lindbergh's reputation is utterly shredded by the careful analysis of newly released classified files, which expose him as a bigot and Hitler's willing pawn. Wallace rebuts line by line the Ford Company's recent attempts to sanitize its Nazi past and skewers corporate spin with devastating documentation from Ford's own files. The American Axis is that rare work of balance: biography, scholarship, and celebrity scandal. My pick for the most powerful book of the year."
--John Loftus, author of The Secret War Against the Jews


"A finely wrought, careful, and utterly damning case that ought to prompt a widespread reevaluation of both Ford and Lindbergh." (Kirkus Reviews)

"What a drama! ...reminds us that the destiny of the republic hung in the balance in the Great Debate." (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., author of The Age of Roosevelt) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Pr,2003; 1st edition (August 29, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0312290225
  • ASIN: B0009YAXEA
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,134,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Robert Schmidt himself, was not even under the direct control of Ford and was never convicted of any war crimes.
KnowThy1Self
This book presents quite the contrast with A. Scott Berg's apologetic treatment of Lindbergh's Nazi sympathies and nasty anti-semitic views.
Lindsey MacGregor
Henry Ford, the American manufacturing genius, and Charles Lindbergh, the aviation hero, are the subjects of this book.
Eric Hobart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 40 people found the following review helpful By M. V. Sanderford on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I cannot BELIEVE the negative reviews that this book has received on this site - and you shouldn't either! This is one of the most carefully researched, extensively footnoted, beautifully written, books on this subject ever published. The sources include entries from Lindbergh's journal, Lindbergh's speeches, FBI files, letters from German archives, Ford company records, and many other primary sources. Every assertion of fact is backed up with unimpeachable documentation. This is not in any way a hatchet job. Wallace goes out of his way to tell us what we do not know for sure, and to give his subjects the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.

But, even so, what emerges is a damning portrait of Ford and Lindbergh. The degree of responsibility for the success of the Third Reich that must be borne by these two men will astonish you. The author, using polls from the time, deftly demolishes the utterly bogus argument that these two men were simply reflecting the prevailing attitudes of the majority of Americans, as anyone who had actually read the book would know.

When Wallace, near the end of the book, expands his scope to address the reasons such admittedly poorly educated (and in Lindbergh's case, incredibly naïve and, in my opinion, rather stupid) individuals were able to have such influence over the events of the 1930's and 1940's, he is addressing the deeper issues that lie behind the events he has described - such as humanity's apparent need for heroes, and those heroes' concomitant responsibility to think, speak, and act humanely and honorably. Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford brought great harm to humanity, most especially to the Jews, during their years on the world stage. They should be held responsible for it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eddi Haskell on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford knew exactly what they were doing when they received their awards from the Nazis in the late 1930's. However, their degree of support, in the case of Ford wittingly, and in the case of Lindbergh perhaps not so, for the fascist side, and the Nazis in general has not been documented. This book is well researched, objective, manages to see both sides of an equation, and should be considered as part of the definitive biographies on both men. Excellent sourcing of materials.
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38 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Robin Kellin on October 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is about the Nazi affiliations of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh and that material is indeed fascinating. But the part of the book that really blew me away was the revelation that George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott Bush was a Nazi whose assets were seized by the US government after Pearl Harbor for Trading With the Enemy and helping Nazi front companies launder money. A former US government Nazi War Crimes prosecutor is quoted in this book as saying, "The fortune that put two members of the Bush family in the White House can be traced directly to the Third Reich." I remember during the first George Bush presidential campaign when a whole bunch of Nazis were exposed by USA Today as working on Bush's campaign and forced to resign. More recently, Vanity Fair exposed the close ties between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family. It's time for the American media to start probing a little deeper into the Bush dynasty so that voters can evaluate the skeletons in Dubya's closet before November, 2004.
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24 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Todd McLaren on August 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The author was the first unauthorized biographer allowed into the Lindbergh archives at Yale and he discovered how much damning information Scott Berg left out of his own authorized biography a few years ago. He finds all kinds of letters and unpublished writings revealing that Lindbergh's antisemitism and Nazi sympathies were much more serious than portrayed by Berg. But he says that Lindbergh was not actually a Nazi. Rather he was used by them to keep the US out of World War 2 so that Hitler could achieve his goal of taking over Europe. He describes Lindbergh as an "enigma" who had Jewish friends but thought there were good jews and bad jews. The bad jews supposedly controlled the press, the government and Hollywood and were secretly plotting to get the United States into World War 2. Well, it turns out that it was the Nazis who were secretly plotting, plotting to install Lindbergh as the head of the US isolationist movement (probably without Lindbergh's knowledge, but you never know.)
Ford comes off as a rather stupid bigot who also believed there were "good Jews" and "bad" International Jews. Hitler said that his own hatred of the Jews was inspired by Ford, who he called "my inspiration."
The strongest part of this book is the investigation into the Ford Motor Company's collaboration with Hitler, even after America entered the war. He discovered that Edsel Ford, Henry's only son, was about to be indicted by the American government for "Trading with the Enemy" at the time of his death in the middle of the war. The company used slave labor to rack up huge profits by selling Hitler miltary vehicles and armaments that were used to kill Allied and American soldiers. It's a shameful chapter in American history.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken Kendall on April 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently read another book on Lindbergh. It was basically a whitewash job by someone whose real agenda was to attack President Obama and, frankly, every Democratic president since Woodrow Wilson. I didn't think that a book on Lindbergh was the place to do that. Obviously, I felt that I needed another view. This book gives what I believe to be a reasoned history and analysis of these two complex men. One comes away with an understanding of the web of German sympathizers and anti-Semites including Lindbergh and Ford, the German American Bund, various military officers, the KKK, etc.

Reading this book reminded me that in the 1920's and 1930's, anti-Semites would accuse the Jews of this, that and the other thing. They were said to be the root of all the world's problems. Ford in particular and Lindbergh to a lesser extent were guilty of this. Many of todays conservative commentators will make statements virtually identical to things anti-Semites were saying 70 and 80 years ago but now days substitute the term "liberal media" for "Jew". Makes one wonder.

I do take some exception to the author's comments regarding today's Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford and some of his executives did some very reprehensible things before and during World War II. That said, I think it's pretty much time to move on.
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