Car enthusiasts will enjoy these 5 must-read books about the history of the automobile industry.
1. The Automobile Age by James J. Flink
“In this sweeping cultural history, James Flink provides a fascinating account of the creation of the world’s first automobile culture. He offers both a critical survey of the development of automotive technology and the automotive industry and an analysis of the social effects of “automobility” on workers and consumers.”
2. My Years With General Motors by Alfred P. Sloan Jr.
“Alfred P Sloan, Jr. began his career with General Motors little realizing that the automobile presented one of the greatest industrial opportunities of modern times. It was because of his genius and leadership that General Motors Corporation grew to be one of the largest corporations on Earth. My Years with General Motors tells Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.’s remarkable story.”
3. The Four Trials of Henry Ford by Gregory R. Piché
“Henry Ford: oracular genius, people’s hero, or narcissistic, autocratic bully?
“In Gregory R. Piché’s new book, The Four Trials of Henry Ford, four landmark court cases reveal the dark side of Ford’s legal clashes and the quirks of his character and personality that ushered his image in the public’s imagination from mechanical savant and populist sage to isolated, imperious bigot.
“In recounting the Ford litigation, Piché examines Ford’s parallel manipulation of public media to advance his own political and narcissistic agenda to become a public sage and an American President. It follows the initial rise of his reputation as a progressive capitalist to its ultimate erosion as a mean-spirited bigot and contributor to the propaganda that fueled the Holocaust.”
4. Riding the Roller Coaster: A History of the Chrysler Corporation by Charles K. Hyde
“How Chrysler has achieved monumental success and then managed colossal failure and sharp recovery is explained in Riding the Roller Coaster, a lively, unprecedented look at a major force in the American automobile industry since 1925. Charles Hyde tells the intriguing story behind Chrysler-its products, people, and performance over time-with particular focus on the company’s management. He offers a lens through which the reader can view the U.S. auto industry from the perspective of the smallest of the automakers who, along with Ford and General Motors, make up the ‘Big Three.'”
5. Ford: The Times, The Man, The Company by Allan Nevins, Frank Ernest Hill
“The authors deftly tell the stories of both Henry Ford and the FoMoCo enterprise against a background of the times which created their success. Here we see the early Henry Ford… grasping for a way to make money out of this infant technology. We also see the chaotic state of an industry which had great potential, but which had not as yet determined what the nature of its product would be (gas, electric, steam, tool for the masses, plaything for the rich). The treatment of Ford’s fight against the Selden patent is especially well told.”
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