The New Men

The New Men

by Jon Enfield


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The New Men by Jon Enfield

Tony Grams comes to America at the start of the twentieth century, set on becoming a new man. Driven to leave poverty behind, he lands a job at the Ford Motor Company that puts him at the center of a daring social and economic experiment.

The new century and the new auto industry are bursting with promise, and everyone wants Henry Ford's Model T. But Ford needs men to make it. Better men. New men. Men tough enough and focused enough to handle the ever-bigger, ever-faster assembly line. Ford offers to double the standard wage for men who will be thrifty, sober, and dedicated... and who will let Ford investigators into their homes to confirm it.

Tony has just become one of those investigators. America and Ford have helped him build a new life, so at first he's eager to get to work. But world war, labor strife, and racial tension pit his increasingly powerful employer against its increasingly desperate enemies.

As Tony and his family come under threat from all sides and he faces losing everything he's built, he must struggle with his conscience and his weaknesses to protect the people he loves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938757129
Publisher: Wayzgoose Press
Publication date: 06/10/2014
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Jon Enfield has written for a range of audiences and publications. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Poetry Ireland Review, Underground Voices, Xavier Review, and He is a former fiction editor of Chicago Review, and he taught writing at the University of Southern California for several years. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago for his dissertation on the relationships between American film and fiction 1910-1940. The New Men arose from his longstanding fascination with America in the early twentieth century and from his sense that the emergence and evolution of the American auto industry shed light on some fundamental realities of present-day America.

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The New Men 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You probably know how Detroit's Ford Motor Company built cars like the Model T for ordinary Americans. You probably don't know that Ford also tried to build Americans into perfect workers for its factories. The New Men not only tells this story but also makes it clear why we _should_ know it. Enfield's thoroughly researched book follows the adventures of Tony Grams, who emigrates from Sardinia as a child and becomes an inspector in Ford's Sociological Department in 1913. Grams and his fellow inspectors visit the private homes of assembly line employees to make sure they spend what was then a princely wage of $5 per day on the things Ford approves-- nice houses, new furniture, wives, and children-- and not on gambling, whores, or liquor. But the pursuit of perfection is never dull in this novel because The New Men assembles a delightfully flawed cast of characters whose love lives, political entanglements, and unpredictable choices keep the reader in suspense. As Ford's tactics for achieving "regular men" become more menacing, the novel asks us to consider whether being a new man is incompatible with being a good man. The New Men brings a key moment in the history of our modern world back to vivid life and poses questions that stay with the reader long after the pleasure of reading this novel is over.
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting story which is a historical fiction about one man, his family and the Ford company program. It was hard in Italy people had to do what they had to do to get by. Tony’s father gets into a little trouble once all is taken care of he moves his family to the states where the story takes off. This is a book about morals, working for what you get and being the best you can be. This story covers a lot of issues throughout history from spying, racism, morals, paranoia and a lot more. It shows how one company helped their employees make a new life giving them what they worked for and treating them fair. The narrator Mr. Matthews did a wonderful job with a smooth voice. Some of his character voices were very close to others but for the most part you could tell who was talking and just what was going on. You had no doubt about the emotion each character has. It was well read with no high or low volumes where he might have take a break. If breaks were taken you could not tell. It was a very clear and clean audio. I wouldn’t say this was a page turner but it is an eye opener it is a little dry, it has a lot of facts of interest but at time my mind wondered off. One thing for sure it is a story you will remember and it will stay with you after you put it down. This was an in lighting read that is well written giving you some facts of days long ago. It shows how a company gave back to those that gave leaving you wondering just how much of an impact this company had and has on the USA throughout the years and still today.
walc More than 1 year ago