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The Ford Century: Ford Motor Company and the Innovations that Shaped the World Hardcover – November 4, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan; 1 edition (November 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188765688X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579652012
  • ASIN: 1579652018
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 10.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is corporate history with the top down-a breezy, upbeat, illustrated cruise through the 100 years since the first Ford Motor Company's incorporation and its release of the Model A in 1903. Banham, who has produced similar corporate histories (Coors: A Rocky Mountain Legend, etc.), skims past the historical context of the Ford Century, but the author skips none of the debit entries on Ford the man, not even his anti-Semitism and bouts of flinty noblesse oblige during the Depression, although he does avoid most of the company's labor-management potholes. After devoting much space to Henry Ford, Banham describes his successors, including Henry II, McNamara, Iacocca, Nasser. Most of these CEOs take a bow for globalizing Ford through acquisitions (Lincoln, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover) and for benchmarks in marketing and engineering, including the Edsel. Banham wisely pauses in the middle of this management hagiography and gives over the story to the cars themselves in an illustrated centerpiece of 25 "Heart and Soul" Fords (along with models from Volvo et al.)-most with marketing case summaries and social history. Studded with more than 500 images, including early photos of production lines, advertisements and the automobiles themselves, this volume is a nice road trip for Ford marque buffs, but on the whowle it comes off as a glossy, self-congratulating corporate history.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The Ford Model T changed the way America lived--almost everyone could now own a car. And when Henry Ford devised the assembly line method of car building so that more Fords could be produced, American industry was also changed. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Ford Motor Company, and this large-format visual history of the company is tied to the planned worldwide celebration. Banham, a business journalist and book author, writes engaging text that is certainly not overshadowed--but, instead, supported--by the vast illustrations. More than 500 photos have been culled from private collections and the Ford archives, and they are used to great effect as Banham charts the growth of one of the most significant companies in the world. Of particular delight is the "Special Collectors Section," which profiles 25 "vehicles that have generated excitement and inspired passion," from the 1914 Model T to the 1991 Explorer. (For a dark chapter in Ford history, see Thomas E. Bonsall's Disaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel, reviewed in this issue on p.554). Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is fascinating, even for people like me who aren't especially interested in cars. I picked it up at my grandpa's house and couldn't put it down. More than a "car book," Ford Century brings in a lot of the history that Ford grew up in - from hula hoops to hot rods - and reminds its readers how Ford was there for it all. This is a beautiful book, as well, with great images and nostalgiac pictures. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brunner Marc on February 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
complete history of Ford Motor Company incl. sub-brands

Every employee of Ford Motor got one in 2003.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luis A. De Torre on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as part of the materials of a history of innovation course, and it resulted a valuable piece. The history of Ford is well known in general terms but not in the details and the way their engineers broke thoundsands of paradigms and how they adapted to the market needs. The book of evidence of this effort. There is a nice introduction by Paul Newman. I recommend it for all lovers of engineering or product development.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tying in with Ford's 100th celebration is this fine chronicle of this influential name and continuing legacy in so many areas of the past century.
The mobility and culture which has sprung up around the auto is staggering. Here it is captured from following one of the influential figures in all of that: Henry Ford and the legacy he left.
Well done with photos and enough text to provide running history of this giant in industry and society, this will become a collector's item to be given with pride, displayed on coffetables or in libraries.
To reflect back on all those vehicles--- Model T, Thunderbird, Mustang, Edsel, F-150, assembly line. We've all been touched by it. This is luscious nostalgia at its best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Ford Century" is an exceptional insight into the history of the American automobile industry. The pictures and artwork are excellent. The narative is easy to read and sufficiently detailed to tell even the most avid care freak most eveything he/whe might want to know about how the Ford Motor Company got the place it holds in the industrial and cultural history of the USA. It's the perfect companian book to "Ford at Fifty", which to the best of my knowledge had only limited availability when it was published over fifty years ago by Simon & Shuster as the chronicle of Ford's first fifty years. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
With over 500 photos, Author Russ Banham and
foreward(er) [the late Hungarian-American
Actor] Pual Newman, take the reader into
four different sections about the life of an
American inventor-genius. They don't go into
Ford's somewhat kooky views (was he a Mason
or just into the Occult?!, but stick strictly
to his wanting to make a car for the American
family and our love affair with it! Why, oh
why can't we have Corporations like this today?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CEM on February 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book is worth it just for the photography. Content is sufficient though some of the reading is biased toward Ford (their hand is in the book) and the section covering important models shows cars that Ford had absolutely nothing to do with (Jaguar E Type, early Aston Martin, pre-Ford ownership Mazda three wheeler and Miata among others). These just don't belong there. In the end, a nice book to have but not a complete history of the car company or the man.
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