Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by One of the surprises in Greg Grandin’s compelling new book is just. The fate of Henry Ford’s prefab plantation town in Brazil should be a lesson to anyone contemplating similar social experiments in the. Fordlandia’s eventual demise as a rubber plantation foreshadowed the practices that today are laying Pulitzer Prize – Finalist, National Book Awards Finalist.

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And Ford’s Amazon town does seem to complement its setting, perhaps because the conceit that underwrote Fordlandia has been muted by fodrlandia weed-entwined buildings, rotten floor planks, and guano- glazed walls.

Eveiy human being in the country would reap the benefit. Sep 26, Simon Wood rated it really liked it. Coming upon a site he thought especially pretty, Ford ordered his men to dig an artificial lake and build a lumber mill.

Fordlandia by Greg Grandin

America Lobato, eighty -one years old on my first trip to Fordlandia, inwas in the lucky group, but barely. Eventually a town of sorts was built, complete with suburban houses, a golf course, a movie theatre and a ,gallon water tank — the giant tank is all that now survives. The story does contain many interesting asides. He was a superstar before the word was invented – a charismatic celebrity who backed up his talk with action.

Roosevelt also saw Ford turn his factory over to war production, leading many who had simply considered the cannaker a fool to now think him a hypocrite.

Fordlandia by Greg Grandin | Book review | Books | The Guardian

The workers tried to hold the caterpillars at bay: He was in love with a way of life he helped destroy, obsessed with soy and blindly antisemetic, “Fordlandia” tells us early on. At the fordlandai you let yourself go with two, three ideas that are wobbling about at the top of your head.

Yet concrete sidewalks, electric street-lamps, and those red fire hydrants confirm that it made such compromises reluctantly. I did a little research and found that Bennett wrote an autobiography “Ford: And sure enough, by vegetable and fruit production had increased throughout the valley, in expectation of the government’s granting Ford the concession.


His workers would fordlandai metal, but also nurture vegetables in small-town communities, not big cities. Fordlandia Brazil — History. With their BeauxArts palaces, neoclassical municipal buildings, electric trams, wide Parisian boulevards, and French restaurants, the cities of Manaus, located about nine hundred miles up the Amazon River, and Belem, the region’s principal Atlantic port, competed for the title of “tropical Paris.

Full text of “Fordlandia: The Rise & Fall Of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City”

The real history of a people is not expressed in wars but in the way they lived and worked. I’ve made the trip twice, and the second time it was no less jolting after hours of passing little but green to round a river bend and come upon a foot tower bursting from the forest canopy holding aloft a ,gallon water tank. Mostly the book rings with the passage of the decades it encompasses, the war of ideologies that capitalism has apparently won played against a backdrop of nature so vast and powerful that even the power and resources of a guy like Ford were defied.

Highland Park had become a machine itself, which by the midteens was dedicated to making one cheap yet sturdy thing: He also had a quixotic streak that led him to pour millions of dollars into the Amazon Rain Forest to create a model American town. Only God Can Grow a Tree In countries with strong artisanal and mechanic traditions like France, England, Germany, and even the United States, intellectuals and craft unionists condemned Fordism for replacing the crafts man and skilled worker with mindless “jerks, twists, and turns.

Hoping to take the same rigourously methodical approach to growing rubber, Ford directed his men to clear trees from swath A key incident in the story of an attempt to transplant the principals of mass-production–and the American way of life–into the middle of a rainforest: They shared a number of friends, including Thomas Edison and the naturalist John Burroughs, and Roosevelt, the first president to ride in a car, felt “not merely friendliness” toward Ford “but in many respects a very genuine admiration.

At times, I really liked this story of the Ford Motor Company’s Brazil rubber plantation–it is an interesting story, well told. He is a professor and has done his research, so he figures he might as well share it with us.


When his chance to start over appeared with his acquisition of nice size portion of Brazil he ordered architects to start drawing up maps of his impression of the ideal American town. I would see fornication, and asphyxiation, and choking, and fighting for survival. I was glad for it to be over, but not left without a number of valuable lessons learned and a tempered view of the limits of human fordlzndia.

It is the early s and Henry Ford has worked out that it takes 7, operations to build a car, a third of them sufficiently simple to be done by “a one-legged man”. The downturn lasted less than two years, short compared to either the six-year contraction that began in or the great desolation that would come in Anyone with an interest in the idealism of Ford and the epic struggles of building a city in the jungle would probably enjoy the book as long ofrdlandia are accepting of the epic journey required of the reader It was bound to be a forlorn endeavour from the start.

And Alberta, along with Pequaming and other small Ford-subsidized communities, made little economic sense, as whatever milled wood it provided could be cut more economically at Ford’s industrial plants in L’Anse or Iron Mountain.

After reading this book, I now know how influential, popular and ahead bkok his time Henry Ford was to so many people growing up during the heyday of the Ford empire. Rubber, actually admitted to favoring Churchill’s cartel. Most of the country’s prominent liberal internationalists, intellectuals, and religious leaders, like William Jennings Bryan, William Howard Taft, and Louis Brandeis respectfully declined the industrialist’s invitation to join his odyssey.

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