Willow Run: Colossus of American Industry

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Lansing, MI 1995 Hard cover Fine. Signed by author. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. xvi + 344 p., Contains: Illustrations, Index, Bibliography. Audience: General/trade.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2000

    I wish there was a six star rating

    I have read this book and it gives the most detailed discription of the B-24 Liberator and its production right from the conception of building the factory. I have also talked to the author and he is one of the finest people I have ever spoken to with great stories of how he was the last person to live on the Willow Run property before the property to how he actually met Henry Ford. The book is fantastic and the author is too. C. Jeff Dyrek

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2000

    Willow Run: Colossus of American Industry

    Hi, my name is Zamie, I am one of the daughter's of Mr. Kidder. I have read both of his books, and to be honest, all the time and effort that my dad put into his books has realy paid off. It took my dad 5 years to write the book 'Willow Run', and 3 yaers to write the book 'Great Alaska Adventures'. I realy enjoy reading and looking through his books and learning about the things that my dad hasn't had the time to tell me or my brothers and sisters about. I know that there are just a few people out there in other parts of the country and world that think that some of the things in my dad's books aren't true, but everything in those books are actual facts,and there are no exageration in his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2000

    Willow Run: Colossus of American Industry

    THE STRUGGLE TO TURN BACK THE NAZI TIDE involved bloody sacrifices at places like Stalingrad, and it also involved desperate struggles on the crucial industrial front. In the industrial-production war, no front was more important than Michigan and no single battle more daring and more important than the battle of Willow Run, no enemy more relentless than time. KIDDER IS ESPECIALLY WELL QUALIFIED for this intensive and detailed study of the World War II history of the Willow Run plant. His family sacrificed their home and farm at Willow Run for construction of the plant and airfield. After World War II, he was employed as assistant division manager of production engineering at Willow Run by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation, when Kaiser manufactured the C-119 and C-123 cargo planes for the Air Force. KIDDER'S STUDY IS A FINE EXAMPLE of history from the factory floor, with a strong autobiographical overtone of direct pertinence to his theme. He contributes a substantial body of invaluable information about the design, engineering, and production of the B-24. Kidder draws extensively and knowledgeably on departmental records and drawings from the plant. He shows keen and sympathetic insight into the production problems faced by the Ford engineers and management in turning out bombers by the thousands. FORD'S PRODUCTION TASK AND GOAL WAS DAUNTIMNG, ITS ACHIEVEMENT PRODIGIOUS. The task was to move bomber production from a craft basis, where planes were more or less individually crafted and built to the mass-production system which Ford knew as well as or better than any manufacturer in the United States. What Kidder desctribes in careful, sometimes dramatic detail, is the management, engineering, and human effort by which bombers that were built in small quantities in early 1941 in thieteen days, were produced by April 1944 at the rate of 455 planes in 450 hours, more than one per hour. Assembly involved more than 1,200,000 seperate parts. IN SHEER MAGNITUDE AND COMPLEXITY, the mass production of the B-24 Liberator bomber at Willow Run represents the greatest mass production achievement of the industrial age, in war or piece. Kidder's description of this achievement is sometime rough-hewn and uneven, but the combination of his engineering and management experience and his deep and evident feeling for the manufacturing significance of Willow Run makes this book an INDISPENSIBLE ADDITION TO THE MODEST SHELF OF STUDIES OF THE GROWING AND DESERVING LEGEND OF WILLOW RUN. We can read from it a cautionary question: what might be our fate if we let our manufacturing capacity decay or move it overseas? What if Willow Run had been in Germany or Japaninstead of Michigan.

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