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I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford Hardcover – May 14, 2013
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Automobile mogul Henry Ford changed drastically during the years his Model T was produced. When in 1927 a funereal-looking Ford personally steered the 15 millionth T out of the factory, few remained of his associates who were present at the creation of the first T in 1908. Gone, too, was Ford’s reputation as a progressive industrialist. Opinion about The People’s Tycoon (title of Steven Watts’ 2005 biography) had nose-dived, and many thought he was an anti-Semite, a woolly-headed pacifist, and an authoritarian businessman, whose iconic car appeared antique-like compared to the competition. To track Ford’s metamorphosis, Snow agilely follows Ford’s relationship with the mechanical love of his life. During Ford’s years of tinkering, which culminated in the Model T, a gregarious, long-limbed Ford lopes through Snow’s pages, but he hunches over in ensuing ones, rejecting proposals to change the T en route to becoming an egotistic crank. Snow displays excellent storytelling skill as, stiffening by the years, Ford’s character develops through anecdotes and events in a lively narrative sequence that will engross readers curious about Ford and the Model T. --Gilbert Taylor
"Richard Snow presents a biography of a brilliant, difficult and strange man, a technological thriller about the most important machine he made, and a social history of the country it transformed. You live in the world Henry Ford made; here is how it happened. I Invented the Modern Age is clear, amusing, stern and poignant." (Richard Brookhiser author of James Madison)
“I Invented the Modern Ageis the amazing story of an amazing man, told with wit, insight, style, andzest. Richard Snow makes the invention of the automobile intelligible andfascinating even to car ignoramuses such as myself. His story of Ford theman is simply riveting. This is history as it should always be told.” (Kevin Baker Strivers Row)
“Highly readable.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Stylistically, Snow mimics the marvelously folksy, proteantemperament of his subject, dwelling on Ford’s early mechanical inventionsrather than his latter problematic prickliness, and everywhere portraying acompelling character.” (Kirkus)
Top customer reviews
There is an extensive bibliography, plus detailed index as well as many excellent photographs. Henry Ford comes across as a much nicer human being in his early days, when he was just married and when he had a good job with Edison Electric Co. In his later years he was autocratic, disagreeable and untrusting of his senior executives. He had many failings including a disdain for accountants and bankers, and an underlying anti-Semitism But all this is balanced by his genius in producing a product that brought a new life to millions of ordinary middle class and working Americans.