series: Henry Ford: American Experience
air date: 6/26/13 3:00 AM
Henry Ford's car transformed the lives of millions, and redrew the grid of the United States and much of the world. His assembly line changed the character of modern industry, and his Five Dollar Day laid the foundation for the creation of the American middle class. A bundle of contradictions, Ford was at once forward and backward-looking, innovative and close-minded, generous and mean-spirited. The same man who helped liberate millions from social isolation with his Model T also trapped thousands in a workplace prison where they were forbidden to sit or talk. The same Ford who welcomed African Americans and disabled people into his factories was a bigot who broadcast to the world his vitriolic hatred of Jews and exhibited devastating cruelty to his own son. This biography draws upon a rich archival record and recent scholarship to provide a revealing portrait of a complex, pivotal and ultimately flawed figure.
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