Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford

Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford

by Don Mitchell
     
 

Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford is a riveting profile of the man whose invention revolutionized American life: the industrial visionary who changed the automobile from rich man’s toy into affordable necessity. Don Mitchell weaves archival images from the Benson Ford Research Center with quotes from Ford’s writings, speeches, and

Overview

Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford is a riveting profile of the man whose invention revolutionized American life: the industrial visionary who changed the automobile from rich man’s toy into affordable necessity. Don Mitchell weaves archival images from the Benson Ford Research Center with quotes from Ford’s writings, speeches, and interviews to create a lively, comprehensive profile of this intriguing individual.

Fiercely independent, and a man of complex contradictions, Henry Ford is revealed above all as a man driven to achieve his dream of building "a motor car for the great multitude," accessible to all. Driven includes a time line, resource list, and index.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tiffany Erickson
Henry Ford was a complicated individual and thankfully, this book showcases both the good and the bad. The book opens with a young Henry who loves to tinker with toys and clocks. It then discusses his fascination with motors, electricity, and making cars and farming equipment that are more efficient and safe. His development and expansion of Ford Motor Company is described in great detail. The inconsistencies in his beliefs are then explained. Ford was a pioneer of sorts, giving workers a good wage, shorter working days, and shorter weeks. He even hired people with disabilities, minorities, women, and former convicts. He did all of these things because he believed they were morally right; however, when the government and unions decided to make these privileges law, he fought the unions and even ignored violence between his employees and labor unions. His relationship with his family was good until he gave up control of his company; then it became forced and difficult. Ultimately, Ford started a wave of advancement that he could not control and with which he felt at odds.. This biography is unfortunately one long narrative that could have been broken up for easier browsing. The pictures add quite a bit to the text, but since it is a photobiography, there could have been more photos. Children will be surprised by some of the things that they learn about Ford, but seeing both sides makes him a much more interesting figure. Reviewer: Tiffany Erickson
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Starting with a foreword by Lee Iacocca, Mitchell introduces readers to the founder of the auto company. As evidenced by the abundant period photographs, Ford cut a dapper figure. This biography covers his entire life, career, vision, ideals, character flaws, and lasting achievements. Thoughts, feelings, and quotes abound, and they are well sourced. Obviously the pictures are a huge draw here. Ford is portrayed as a complex individual—a mostly decent man, a pacifist, someone with an interest in education who wanted to help the less fortunate. Yet his hatred of Jews is evident, and he turned a blind eye to violence against those who attempted to form unions. Finally, he destroyed his relationship with his only son, Edsel. The writing is clear, and the organization is chronological. Pat McCarthy's Henry Ford: Building Cars for Everyone (Enslow, 2002) covers similar ground, but has far fewer illustrations. Driven combines fine photography and an inviting text to depict Ford's life and his impact on the world.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426301568
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Series:
Photobiographies Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
10 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Don Mitchell’s father spent his career in the automotive industry. Mitchell has worked as a public servant in the U.S. Senate and in the White House on the staff of the National Security Council. He has written one previous National Geographic title Liftoff: A Photobiography of John Glenn. He lives in Arlington, VA.

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