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Whiz Kids
     

Whiz Kids

by John A. Byrne
 
A fascinating and personal story of how American business came to be what it is today, The Whiz Kids recounts how ten World War II army buddies went to work at Ford Motor Company and became architects of a new economic world order. Simultaneous hardcover release from Doubleday/Currency. 2 cassettes.

Overview

A fascinating and personal story of how American business came to be what it is today, The Whiz Kids recounts how ten World War II army buddies went to work at Ford Motor Company and became architects of a new economic world order. Simultaneous hardcover release from Doubleday/Currency. 2 cassettes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Christened the Whiz Kids by the press, 10 young Army Air Force statistical experts in 1945 were hired as a unit by Henry Ford II to impose order on the company he had just taken over from his senile grandfather. Byrne, a Business Week writer and author of The Headhunters , admits that the Kids' formula for increasing profits through monitoring the numbers saved costs, but only, he claims, at the expense of quality and innovation--thinking that ultimately led to the loss of America's automotive hegemony. The group's charismatic leader, Tex Thornton, later created--and lost--super-conglomerate Litton Industries; Jack Reith masterminded the wildly over-designed 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, which flopped, and the doomed Edsel before committing suicide; Robert McNamara became Ford's president and then JFK and LBJ's Secretary of Defense. Others of the group ascended to top Ford jobs or drifted into disgruntled retirement. The book is that publishing rarity, a page-turner about business and finance people, but a more discriminating approach might have given the Whiz Kids' story greater cohesion. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Byrne presents a snapshot of the changes in business and industry in the 1950s and 1960s brought about by a group of former Army Air Force officers. After entering into business careers at the end of World War II, these ten men used statistics to develop, promote, analyze, and increase profits through strict financial controls; this, despite the fact that they knew next to nothing about business. In the beginning the whiz kids were amazingly successful, and their revolutionary strategies pulled Ford Motor Company from the edge of bankruptcy. In the long run, however, their methods proved disastrous due to a shortsighted approach. This account is narrated wonderfully by author Byrne. Snippets of music underscore pieces and signify breaks in the narrative. For all libraries with business collections.-- Miriam Kahn, Columbus, Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553471922
Publisher:
Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/1993

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