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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It was a system that produced enormous riches when Brazil had a monopoly on the world’s rubber trade and therefore largely set the global market price. Until recently, nearly half of all the cars produced in the world were Model Ts, which Ford had been building since It created what was understood to be a closed, self-regulating circuit that both increased production and expanded consumption, whereby workers were able to purchase the products that they themselves made.

Many turned to drink. This belief is that Mr. Did they have a bank account?

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin

My hobby is exploring ghost towns. What Roosevelt called the “great factories of Americanism” were to be found not in Highland Park but in the collective effort of war, or at least in the collective effort needed to prepare for war.

Ford decided to purchase a gigantic piece of Amazon land from Brazil and build a model company town that would pay fair wages, impose traditional American read: So he ordered families to tear down their picket fences, which were used to corral cows, chickens, and pigs in their front yards. He said he planned to pull down the American flag and replace it with the flag of all nations which was being designed in his offices.

On weekends, the plantation sponsored square dances and recitations of poetry by William Wordsworth and Henry Longfellow.


Even in the late ‘s, when the settlement was started, many scientists of the time could have predicted failure. Companies need external customers.

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City

With a surety of purpose and incuriosity about the world that seems all too familiar, Ford deliberately rejected expert advice and set out to turn the Amazon into the Midwest of his imagination. But it was distinctly not adventurous, in contrast to the privations of war, frontier living, and jungle exploration that someone like Theodore Roosevelt celebrated for their ability to strengthen character. From start to finish, the production of rubber that made such affluence possible represented an extreme contrast to the industrial method pioneered by Henry Ford in Michigan.

Feb 11, Helen rated it liked it Shelves: And whatever curiosity he felt never extended to making a visit. Their high wages would buy them cars — the same ones that they made — and the time to dig their gardens.

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

In fact he never did give up — it was his grandson who finally gave it all back to Brazil nearly 20 years after they started. And in the larger latter half, few harped on the downside of steady wages and mass, standardized production of low-cost goods. Henry Ford, who bootstrapped his auto plants, thought that he could follow his gut He wanted to cut out the middleman for fordlancia and have the cheapest manufacturing possible.

Ford promised to finish the factories and build a dam as majestic as the Nile’s Aswan dam in Egypt, completed two decades earlier.

At the same time, the cost of manufacturing a Model T continued to decline, which allowed for a reduction in price, which increased demand, which generated more profit, which could be poured back into the factory to synchronize and mechanize production even further, to start the whole process over again.

That is what I’m working for.

He hated them so much that all milk was soy milk. We learn about the incredible River Rogue Henry Ford was the Bill Gates of his day – a man who took a good idea, and himself, to the heights of public consciousness. As another writer noted, the “potentates of the forest have no credit beyond that on their books — against peons who never pay unless with their lives. Ford then announced that he would soon fly to theAmazon to inspect fordlandja new rubber plantation.


I see it more as full of obscenity. Still, in the months leading to the convention, he received an outpouring of encouragement from fanners and industrial workers urging himto “fight the munition manufacturers. My wife worked in technology at Ford headquarters and we’d sometimes go to Greenfield Village, Ford’s other bizarre Utopia. These lower Michigan villages were more directly integrated into the production of Ford cars than Upper Peninsula lumbertowns.

Amid all this carefully choreographed social engineering, the business of rubber was almost forgotten at times; Fordlandia had become a mission, and an expensive one.

Frank Lloyd Forldandia, for instance, shared Ford’s criticisms of the modem city, particularly the way its immense scale and density threatened to wipe out community and individualism Wright was directly influenced by Ford’s proposed valley city. In a moving and bleak finale Grandin describes how the forces of logging, soya farming and cattle ranching slowly strangled any hope from the area. Henry Ford had big ideas and the resources to execute them, almost on the whim.

Basically the plan was to “convert the natives” to the American lifestyle. Nov 15, Patrick Gibson rated it liked it Shelves: Though they have since been renamed, the street closest to the Tapajos was called “Riverside Avenue,” the farthest, hugging the beginning of an incline, “Hillside.