freedoms forge how american business produced victory in world war ii

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Freedom S Forge

Author : Arthur Herman
ISBN : 9780679604631
Genre : History
File Size : 57. 66 MB
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SELECTED BY THE ECONOMIST AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR Remarkable as it may seem today, there once was a time when the president of the United States could pick up the phone and ask the president of General Motors to resign his position and take the reins of a great national enterprise. And the CEO would oblige, no questions asked, because it was his patriotic duty. In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two extraordinary American businessmen—automobile magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II. “Knudsen? I want to see you in Washington. I want you to work on some production matters.” With those words, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enlisted “Big Bill” Knudsen, a Danish immigrant who had risen through the ranks of the auto industry to become president of General Motors, to drop his plans for market domination and join the U.S. Army. Commissioned a lieutenant general, Knudsen assembled a crack team of industrial innovators, persuading them one by one to leave their lucrative private sector positions and join him in Washington, D.C. Dubbed the “dollar-a-year men,” these dedicated patriots quickly took charge of America’s moribund war production effort. Henry J. Kaiser was a maverick California industrialist famed for his innovative business techniques and his can-do management style. He, too, joined the cause. His Liberty ships became World War II icons—and the Kaiser name became so admired that FDR briefly considered making him his vice president in 1944. Together, Knudsen and Kaiser created a wartime production behemoth. Drafting top talent from companies like Chrysler, Republic Steel, Boeing, Lockheed, GE, and Frigidaire, they turned auto plants into aircraft factories and civilian assembly lines into fountains of munitions, giving Americans fighting in Europe and Asia the tools they needed to defeat the Axis. In four short years they transformed America’s army from a hollow shell into a truly global force, laying the foundations for a new industrial America—and for the country’s rise as an economic as well as military superpower. Featuring behind-the-scenes portraits of FDR, George Marshall, Henry Stimson, Harry Hopkins, Jimmy Doolittle, and Curtis LeMay, as well as scores of largely forgotten heroes and heroines of the wartime industrial effort, Freedom’s Forge is the American story writ large. It vividly re-creates American industry’s finest hour, when the nation’s business elites put aside their pursuit of profits and set about saving the world. Praise for Freedom’s Forge “A rambunctious book that is itself alive with the animal spirits of the marketplace.”—The Wall Street Journal “A rarely told industrial saga, rich with particulars of the growing pains and eventual triumphs of American industry . . . Arthur Herman has set out to right an injustice: the loss, down history’s memory hole, of the epic achievements of American business in helping the United States and its allies win World War II.”—The New York Times Book Review “Magnificent . . . It’s not often that a historian comes up with a fresh approach to an absolutely critical element of the Allied victory in World War II, but Pulitzer finalist Herman . . . has done just that.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) From the Hardcover edition.

Freedom S Forge

Author : Arthur Herman
ISBN : 9780812982046
Genre : History
File Size : 68. 29 MB
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The Pulitzer Prize-finalist author of Gandhi & Churchill assesses the pivotal role of American big business in building weapons and enabling industrial dominance for Allied forces in World War II, tracing the contributions of Danish immigrant William Knudsen and shipbuilding industrialist Henry Kaiser.

Engineers Of Victory

Author : Paul Kennedy
ISBN : 9781846147289
Genre : History
File Size : 67. 61 MB
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From Paul Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, one of the most acclaimed history books of recent decades, Engineers of Victory is a new account of how the tide was turned against the Nazis by the Allies in the Second World War. In January 1943 Churchill and Roosevelt and the Combined Chiefs of Staff met in Casablanca to review the western Allies' war aims and strategy. They realised that to attain their ultimate aim of 'unconditional surrender' they would have to achieve some formidable objectives - win control of the Atlantic sea-lanes and command of the air over the whole of West-Central Europe, work out how to land on an enemy-held shore so that Continental Europe could be retaken, how to blunt the Nazi blitzkrieg that a successful invasion would undoubtedly provoke, and finally how to 'hop' across the islands of the Pacific to assault the Japanese mainland. Eighteen months later on, as Paul Kennedy writes, 'these operational aims were either accomplished or close to being so.' The history of the Second World War is often told as a grand narrative. The focus of this book, by contrast, is on the problem-solvers - Major-General Perry Hobart, who invented the 'funny tanks' which flattened the curve on the D-Day beaches; Flight Lieutenant Ronnie Harker 'the man who put the Merlin in the Mustang'; Captain 'Johnny' Walker, the convoy captain who worked out how to sink U-boats with a 'creeping barrage'. The result is a fresh perspective on the greatest, conflict in human history. Paul Kennedy is one of the world's best-selling and most influential historians. He is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which has been translated into over twenty languages, Preparing for the Twenty-First Century, The Parliament of Man and the now classic Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery.

The Arsenal Of Democracy

Author : A. J. Baime
ISBN : 9780547719283
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 37. 69 MB
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Chronicles Detroit's dramatic transition from an automobile manufacturing center to a highly efficient producer of World War II airplanes, citing the essential role of Edsel Ford's rebellion against his father, Henry Ford. 35,000 first printing.

A Call To Arms

Author : Maury Klein
ISBN : 9781608194094
Genre : History
File Size : 43. 33 MB
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The colossal scale of World War II required a mobilization effort greater than anything attempted in all of the world's history. The United States had to fight a war across two oceans and three continents--and to do so, it had to build and equip a military that was all but nonexistent before the war began. Never in the nation's history did it have to create, outfit, transport, and supply huge armies, navies, and air forces on so many distant and disparate fronts. The Axis powers might have fielded better-trained soldiers, better weapons, and better tanks and aircraft, but they could not match American productivity. The United States buried its enemies in aircraft, ships, tanks, and guns; in this sense, American industry and American workers, won World War II. The scale of the effort was titanic, and the result historic. Not only did it determine the outcome of the war, but it transformed the American economy and society. Maury Klein's A Call to Arms is the definitive narrative history of this epic struggle--told by one of America's greatest historians of business and economics--and renders the transformation of America with a depth and vividness never available before.

The Economics Of World War Ii

Author : Mark Harrison
ISBN : 0521785030
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 61. 65 MB
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This book, the result of an international collaborative project, provides a new quantitative view of the wartime economic experiences of six great powers: the UK, the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USSR. A chapter is devoted to each country, while the introductory chapter presents a comparative overview. It aims to provide a text of statistical reference for those interested in international and comparative economic history, the history of World War II, the history of economic policy, and comparative economic systems.

War Economy And Society 1939 1945

Author : Alan S. Milward
ISBN : 0520039424
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 41. 14 MB
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"This remarkable book should be the standard work for a long time. A true comparative study, it relates the experience of all the main countries (and sometimes others) to a series of key issues that are deftly analyzed and not just described. In addition to the basics--production, consumption, food, finance and organization--the book deals with such famous themes as war as the bringer-of-growth and stimulus-to-technology, and such special questions as the exploitation of occupied areas and economic warfare. Throughout, Professor Milward of Manchester relates economics to strategy in an illuminating way." --Foreign Affairs "An admirable state-of-the-arts report on what we know about how agriculture, population, technology, labor, industrial production, and public finance were affected by the war. He also sets out some highly challenging findings concerning the rationale and effectiveness of economic strategy as applied b the main powers. And he has tentatively advanced some large concepts about the nature of advanced economies as revealed by the manner in which they strove to cope with the war. His approach is broadly comparative: he gives us an account not only of the relative economic performance of individual European powers, but also of the Japanese and American war economies, plus a few observations on the situation in many smaller countries from Australia to Yugoslavia. The book is a mine of information and arresting concepts." --American Historical Review "Milward displays an impressive mastery of his material, both from a historical and economic point of view. He uses quantification effectively, but the book can be read with ease and pleasure by those who are neither trained in nor interested in econometrics. Lucidly written, this superb work deserves a much wider audience than merely specialists." --Journal of Economic Literature "Milward's portrayal of events operates on the proposition that strategic deicions cannot be understood apart from the economic considerations which each leader or government had to take into account. . . . a permanent contribution to our understanding of World War II. Henceforth it will be hard to escape his contention that the big battalions that counted were those on the production line." --Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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