FDR, Detroit, and Arming America During World War II

Monday, June 23, 2014

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.”  


A.J. Baime

Comments [3]

jed from Brooklyn

Worst show ever.

Jun. 23 2014 02:07 PM
Gregory from The Bronx

Your guest should mention that the B-24 was hated by flight crews in the war. It thin-walled, lightweight and had little weapon protection.

Jun. 23 2014 01:22 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Americans were hell bent on staying OUT of the war and were happy to see the Germans and Russians killing each other, and the Japanese and Chinese killing each other, and just some noisy Jews making a fuss about their kinfolk abroad dying again. If Germany had not declared war on the US three days after Pearl Harbor who knows where things would have gone?

Jun. 23 2014 01:13 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.