FDR, Detroit, and Arming America During World War II

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The Arsenal of Democrasy by A. J. Baime

In 1941 President Roosevelt realized we needed weaponry to fight the Nazis—most important, airplanes—so he turned to Detroit and the auto industry for help. The Ford Motor Company went from making automobiles to producing the airplanes, which made all the difference between winning and losing the war. A. J. Baim discusses how they did it. His book The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm and America at Warcenters on Henry Ford and his tortured son Edsel, who, when asked if they could deliver 50,000 airplanes, made an outrageous claim: Ford Motor Company would build a plant that could make a “bomber an hour.”