The Arsenal of Democracy

The Arsenal of Democracy

FDR, Ford Motor Company, and Their Epic Quest to Arm An America at War

Book - 2014
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A New York Times Bestseller


A dramatic, intimate narrative of how Ford Motor Company went from making automobiles to producing the airplanes that would mean the difference between winning and losing World War II. In 1941, as Hitler's threat loomed ever larger, President Roosevelt realized he needed weaponry to fight the Nazis--most important, airplanes--and he needed them fast. So he turned to Detroit and the auto industry for help.

The Arsenal of Democracy tells the incredible story of how Detroit answered the call, centering 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 erect a plant that could yield a "bomber an hour." Critics scoffed: Ford didn't make planes; they made simple, affordable cars. But bucking his father's resistance, Edsel charged ahead. Ford would apply assembly-line production to the American military's largest, fastest, most destructive bomber; they would build a plant vast in size and ambition on a plot of farmland and call it Willow Run; they would bring in tens of thousands of workers from across the country, transforming Detroit, almost overnight, from Motor City to the "great arsenal of democracy." And eventually they would help the Allies win the war.

Drawing on exhaustive research from the Ford Archives, the National Archives, and the FDR Library, A. J. Baime has crafted an enthralling, character-driven narrative of American innovation that has never been fully told, leaving readers with a vivid new portrait of America--and Detroit--during the war.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780547719283
Branch Call Number: ANF 940.531 BAI
Characteristics: 364 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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Supermarine
Nov 10, 2015

This book is less about the role of Detroit as the arsenal of democracy, and more about the discord between Edsel Ford and his father, Henry, and Harry Bennett (head of the Service Department). Notwithstanding this point, the book is a real page turner and is well written and researched. Definitely worth a read if you are interested in military history.

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Bsmart68
Aug 27, 2015

Great read!

d
dhomer1
Jun 16, 2014

A very good book.

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