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I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford Paperback – May 13, 2014
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Snow “gets to the meat of a biographer’s task— demonstrating how psychology and circumstances blend to create a life… Snow’s supple and informative effort reminds us that although we’ve bought the automobiles and the assembly line, we continue to wrestle with the issues that concerned their creator.” (Harper's)
“Highly readable.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Richard Snow’s lively biography will make you rethink the man whose legacy sits in your garage.” (Parade)
"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." (Booklist)
"The 'T' itself is a protagonist in Mr. Snow's often lyrical book." (Wall Street Journal)
“Stylistically, Snow mimics the marvelously folksy, protean temperament of his subject, dwelling on Ford’s early mechanical inventions rather than his latter problematic prickliness, and everywhere portraying a compelling character.” (Kirkus)
"Richard Snow skilfully evokes everything from patenting battles to internal-combustion dramas — and his bullheaded subject, who set out to remake America, and succeeded." (Nature Magazine)
“I Invented the Modern Age is the amazing story of an amazing man, told with wit, insight, style, and zest. Richard Snow makes the invention of the automobile intelligible and fascinating 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 author of Strivers Row)
"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)
"No one has told the story of Henry Ford’s incredible rise and achievements better than Richard Snow in this book." (Steve Forbes Forbes Magazine)
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