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The Life of Henry Ford

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sarah Colt, director of the documentary “Henry Ford,” and Greg Grandin, professor of history at NYU and author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, discuss the life of Henry Ford, a farm boy who became the most influential American innovator of the 20th century. Ford created the Model T, the most successful car in history, and introduced the groundbreaking five-dollar-a-day wage, ushering in the modern world as we know it. One of the nation’s richest men, he was a hero to many ordinary Americans, although he battled his workers and bullied his own son, despised the wealthy, and blamed Jews for what he deemed society’s degeneration. “Henry Ford” will premiere on American Experience on January 29, 9:00-11:00 p.m. on PBS, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Ford’s birth.

Guests:

Sarah Colt and Greg Grandin

Comments [1]

jgarbuz from Queens

Wikipedia- Henry Ford

"Ford had opposed America's entry into World War II [33][42] and continued to believe that international business could generate the prosperity that would head off wars. Ford "insisted that war was the product of greedy financiers who sought profit in human destruction"; in 1939 he went so far as to claim that the torpedoing of U.S. merchant ships by German submarines was the result of conspiratorial activities undertaken by financier war-makers.[43] The financiers to whom he was referring was Ford's code for Jews; he had also accused Jews of fomenting the First World War.[44][33] In the run-up to World War II and when the war erupted in 1939, he reported that he did not want to trade with belligerents. Like many other businessmen of the Great Depression era, he never liked or entirely trusted the Franklin Roosevelt Administration, and thought Roosevelt was inching the U.S. closer to war. However, Ford continued to do business with Nazi Germany, including the manufacture of war materiel.[33] Beginning in 1940, with the requisitioning of between 100 and 200 French POWs to work as slave laborers, Ford-Werke contravened Article 31 of the 1929 Geneva Convention.[33] At that time, which was before the U.S. entered the War and still had full diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany, Ford-Werke was under the control of the Ford Motor Company. The number of slave laborers grew as the war expanded although Wallace made it clear that companies in Germany were not required by the Nazi authorities to use slave laborers."

Jan. 29 2013 12:57 PM

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