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FORD. Robert Lacey

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 Superb 1986 biography of the Ford automotive dynasty and it's company.

Author Robert Lacey charts the rise of Henry Ford from farm boy (not quite as impoverished a youth as he later suggested..) to the richest man in the world. It's a fascinating story and full of sometimes disturbing insights into the man's charachter. For instance Lacey points out that while Henry was a vocal pacifist he still made millions in the arms trade during WW1. He later made a big deal in print of "giving it all back" although there is no evidence to say he ever returned a penny... He was proud to be a working-man's champion but his company was ruthlessly protected from labour unrest by violent gangs seemingly supported by organised crime and he treated his own son an heir rather poorly. he also had a fondness for Hitler and strong leaning to the far right.

The latter half of the book charts the era (post WW2) of his grandson Henry II, a rather more sympathetic character despite the tales of serial womaizing and such but one who seems to have restored some morality into the empire and shaken it free from it's overt underworld influences

All in all a dramatic read and utterly engrossing.

778 pages

Fine book and fine jacket.