As a farm boy in Michigan, Ford (1863–1947) followed the beat of his own drum, avoiding hard work but watching farm machinery with fascination. He objected to wasting physical energy when a machine could accomplish the same task in less time, and spent much of his leisure taking watches apart and rebuilding them to learn about their mechanisms. Once he moved to Detroit, Ford worked as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company, where he quickly became famous for his ability to patch up engines. Then, in 1898, he invented the prototype of his Model A car, secured investors to set up a business and established the first unit of what would become the Ford Motor Company.
Watts deftly traces Ford’s rise to fame and the innovations, such as the “five-dollar” workday, which doubled factory workers’ salaries, that he brought to the workplace, while a chapter titled “Bigot” delineates his notorious anti-Semitism. Watts also brilliantly reveals the contradictions of Ford’s business philosophy and his personal and work life. While Ford thought of himself as a man of the people and strove to improve working conditions and wages in his factory, for example, he opposed unions. As Watts points out, Ford embodied both the promises and pitfalls of modern American democracy: “its devotion to opportunity, openness to new ideas, [and] lack of pretension” as well as its anti-intellectualism and “faith in the redemptive power of material goods.”
One of the best biographies I have read! Touched on his work & personal philosophies as well as many of his controversial moments throughout his tenure. Well written & a great read about one of this country’s prolific contributors.
Godspeed & Good Reads!
Zacharias ( The Grand Weaver) brings together many of today’s leading apologists (who are also colleagues at his Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) for a relatively concise treatment of major apologetic themes, including the existence of God, the problem of evil, the exclusive truth claims of Christianity and evidence for the universe’s intelligent design. Writers explore Eastern religions, conversational apologetics and the challenges postmodern thought presents to accepting Christianity. Not all the entries here are equal—a stronger edit might have given the whole more cohesion and kept some essayists from straying a bit—but some are impressively readable. Oxford professor Alister McGrath covers atheism with grace, and Zacharias himself tackles the problem of evil simply and clearly in a short 30 pages. Underlying the whole is a sense of compassion, that apologetics is not solely about establishing truth claims but about understanding listeners’ deep needs and what their current philosophy provides them. The subtitle is unclear—this is really a standard apologetics manual rather than a book about living out the Christian faith (an idea which Zacharias perhaps should develop elsewhere). But readers will find this helpful and comprehensive, smart and kind . (Jan.)
I found this to be both enlightening and interesting. Many great arguments, many great responses, and an awesome group of apologists! Dr. Zacharias has outdone himself once again!
Godspeed & Good Reads!
The definitive biography of the century’s godfather of invention-from the preeminent Edison scholar
“Israel’s meticulous research and refusal to shy away from the dodgier aspects of Edison’s personality offers a fresh glimpse into the life of the inventor.”-New Scientist
“An authoritative look into Edison’s working methods, here leavened by enough personal detail to give the achievements shape.”-Publishers Weekly
“Israel’s book should go a long way toward taking Edison out of the shadows and placing him in the proper light.”-Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Exhaustively researched, with strong emphasis on Edison’s methods and achievements.”-Kirkus Reviews
The conventional story of Thomas Edison reads more like myth than history: With only three months of formal education, a hardworking young man overcomes the odds and becomes one of the greatest inventors in history. But the portrait that emerges from Edison: A Life of Invention reveals a man of genius and astonishing foresight whose career was actually a product of his fast-changing era. In this peerless biography, Paul Israel exposes for the first time the man behind the inventions, expertly situating his subject within a thoroughly realized portrait of a burgeoning country on the brink of massive change. Informed by Israel’s unprecedented access to workshop diaries, notebooks, letters, and more than five million pages of archives, this definitive biography brings fresh insights to a singularly influential and triumphant career in science.
An interesting read about the man, himself. The book addresses some of the rumors spread about him over his “inventions” & “inventiveness”, but regardless of how you feel or what you believe…Edison was truly one of our enigmatic figures in our history; who truly exploited the American Dream to both its fullest potential & to his greatest benefit!
The Free Version
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