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The Arsenal of Democracy - A.J. Baime

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  • The Arsenal of Democracy - A.J. Baime

    The Arsenal of Democracy ...
    FDR, Detroit, And an Epic Quest to Arm an America at War

    By A.J. Baime

    I just did a review in the thread on this in the WWII forum. That thread took the usual diversions on the concept in general more than the book itself, and I'm thinking some may find it an interesting read but might have missed the other thread, so will make a plug here.

    The thread starts here;
    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=148192
    My latest post/review;
    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=126

    For now, a copy-paste of the first three paragraphs of the Introduction and some links ...

    QUOTE:

    This book is about many things. It's about World War II. It's about the rise of airpower, an apocalyptic science when applied to military action. It's about an American president confined to a wheelchair who sought to teach the world how to walk again during the Great Depression, only to find himself facing a losing war against unconscionable evil. It's about Detroit - "the biggest wartime boom-town of all" - and its automobile industry, which in 1941 had a bigger than any foreign nation except Britain, France, Germany, and possibly the Soviet Union. Ultimately, this book is about a father and a son who more than any other figures in the first half of the twentieth century symbolized Americanism all over the world - their love, their empire, and the war that tore them apart.

    In [Spring] 1941 Henry Ford and his only child, Edsel, launched the most ambitious wartime industrial adventure ever up to that point in history* They attempted to turn their motorcar bushiness into an aviation powerhouse, to build four-engine bombers, the weapon the Allied leaders thirsted for above all others. The older Ford (Henry was seventy-six when the war began) was one of the nation's richest and most controversial men, an ardent antiwar activist and accused Nazi sympathizer. His only child, Edsel, was a tragic Gatsby-esque character who was dying of a disease that all his riches couldn't cure.

    With the help of "Cast Iron" Charlie Sorensen, Detroit's heralded Hercules of the assembly lines, and the aviator Charles Lindbergh, the Fords attempted to turn the U.S. Air Corps' biggest, fastest, most destructive heavy bomber [B-24] into the most mass-produced American aircraft of all time. Their quest captured the imagination of a nation and come to illuminate all that could go wrong on the home front during the war - and all that could go right.

    END QUOTE
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Arsenal-De.../dp/0547719280
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-...=9780547719283
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/book-...ime-1402693102

  • #2
    Hi GDB

    Thanks for the review.

    What was missing that you couldn't give it 5stars, especially since the text of your review was glowing?

    Has the book been peer reviewed in any journals that you know off?

    Regards
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

    Comment


    • #3
      At risk of 'slap-down' a spam from the other thread;

      QUOTE:
      Hi Andy,

      It's written for general public consumption, not academia, from what I can see, so likely not "peer reviewed". Yet anyway.

      As for 4 out of 5, I'm close to doing a five, but didn't want to seem too partisan. How about 9 out of 10.
      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=128

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Andy H
      Hi GDB

      It doesn't have to be 'academic' to be peer reviewed, in fact most books you see in journals aren't, but I take your broader point.


      The book is a recent 'release to the public', IIRC about three weeks worth. The OP and initial threads offer some links to vendors, as do my recent posts on this page, they also link to numerous reviews by others with assorted details and observations.

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Andy H
      Nothing wrong with being partisan as long as you can remain slightly objective

      I always strive to be Objective, but sometimes the weight of evidence makes a certain tilt of balance obvious ... In that regard, I found Baime to be mostly objective in his presentation of the subject. The closest he came to USA hubris was to cite Stalin at the Tehran Conference (November 1943) when during the toasting session of 'wrap-up' (Stalin reportedly drink only from his own bottle ) said;

      " "I want to tell you" Stalin said, "from the Russian point of view, what the President and the United States have done to win the war. The most important things in this war are machines, The United States has proven that it can turn out from 8,000 to 10,000 airplanes per month. Russia can only turn out, at most, 3,000 a month. England turns out 3,000 to 3,500 ... . The United States , therefore, is the country of machines. Without the use of these machines, through Lend-Lease, we would lose the war."

      (Page 257 of Baime's book.)

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Andy H
      If forced could you pick out anything he had done better etc (No matter if you cant).

      Assorted minor things; a bibliography in addition to Notes maybe, a more extensive Index, a few more pictures/drawings/maps maybe ~ the usual expected "chrome"; and there are a few technical errors to correct, like mentioning that FMC made "M3 Sherman tanks", most here know that the Sherman was an M4, though it was built on the M3 Chassis. That sort of "nit-pickin' "

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Andy H
      I ask because genuinely interested in either buying or lending it, but not interested if its a nationalistic love fest so to speak.

      Then read some of the reviews on the various vendor sites ( and about this thread) but I'd so "go for it" soon as you get your hands on it. You find it was worth the time invested, may want a copy for ref. in your collection.

      BTW, would put Henry Ford in this thread sometime soon; "Generals of Commerce";
      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=149123
      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=130

      Comment


      • #4
        I just noticed another thread started a few months ago in the WWI Forum that is about Henry Ford and FMC, so for some other material, look here;
        http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=146207

        Comment


        • #5
          Saw this gets a mention and review in the August 2015 World War II magazine.

          Comment


          • #6
            Bump ... Linkage to another recent started thread ...

            Comment

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