Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh have long been exalted as two of the greatest American icons of the twentieth century. From award-winning journalist Max Wallace comes groundbreaking and astonishing revelations about the poisonous effect these two so-called American heroes had on Western democracy. In his wide ranging investigation, Wallace goes further than any other historian to expose how Ford and Lindbergh-acting in league with the Nazis-almost brought democratic Europe to the verge of extinction. With unprecedented access to declassified FBI and military intelligence files, Wallace reveals how the close friendship and ideological bond between automotive pioneer Ford and aviator Lindbergh culminated in an abuse of power that helped strengthen Hitler's regime and undermined the Allied war effort.
Wallace traces Henry Ford's ties to Nazi Germany back as far as the s, presenting compelling evidence of a financial paper trail proving that Ford subsidized the rise to power of Adolph Hitler, who described Ford as "my inspiration. Given his Nazi sympathies, his clear calls for the US to appease the Germans, and also to do what it could to effectively allow the British to lose the war, the world would have been a significantly different place if he had decided to run for president and had won. His loathing for the Jews increases throughout the book.
But he also modified his outspokenness because it is impacting upon his car sales. He continued to run a factory in Nazi Germany and in Vichy France and even used slave labour to run these factories with East European women who were apparently raped by their managers and nearly worked to death.
The American Axis
All of this while he either refused to supply aircraft engines to England or he mismanaging military contracts from his own government that undermined the war effort, while refusing to return a medal he got from Hitler - the Nazi government's highest honour. Money has its privileges, and if nothing else, Ford proves that. Surely anyone else would have been executed as a traitor. View all 9 comments. Feb 22, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: bad-things , , to , american-history , european-history , great-depression , general-history , nonfiction , owned-books , politics.
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To quote Uncle Billy in its a wonderful life. Not every heel was in Germany and Japan in the thirties and forties.
Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were the most visible spokesmen for this quarter. Ford wrote an antisemitic tract called the international jew and tried to spread around an English translation of the protocols of the elders of Zion. Lindbergh was the celebrity face of America First which tried to k To quote Uncle Billy in its a wonderful life. Lindbergh was the celebrity face of America First which tried to keep America out of WWII and would push conspiracy theories about Jewish influence in the Roosevelt administration. America First was the Alt-light to the Alt-right of groups like the Silver Shirts which wore the Nazi affinities more nakedly.
The fascists and people friendly to it never totally went away and they are back in force with some of the same slogans.
It is a good idea to find out what America first means historically since it is making a comeback and this is a good book that demonstrates its sinister pedigree. Jan 24, Stefan rated it really liked it Shelves: biographies-memoirs , history. I would not call this a definitive or soberly objective account of either man, but it did provide some insight into the two men and the time period in which they lived. One of the topics I've been giving a fair amount of thought to lately is Americans' tendency to hero-worship, particularly businessmen. We think folks who are successful in business are smarter than most, and are more deserving of accolade than those who are less successful, or aren't in the business world.
Many feel Mitt Romney deserved to be president because he made a lot of money in business - he must be smarter. Similar sentiments are expressed about Donald Trump. There is no doubt that Ford was a successful businessman. He was instrumental in the development of production line techniques and his products transformed transportation and the modern city. But the man was ignorant of history, was a raging anti-Semite, received the highest civilian decoration from Nazi Germany, refused to build engines for the RAF while his factory in Germany was mass producing trucks for the Wermacht.
The American Axis goes to great lengths to detail the beliefs and actions of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, to influential men who were heroes of the 20's and 30's. The book is meticulously researched and tries to paint a fair picture of these men. Now, it's always fraught to judge people of other times by standards of our own, but I think Wallace does a good job of placing Ford's and Lindbergh's beliefs in the proper context. For example, other Americans received awards from Hitler. But those others returned their awards rather than hold them when America entered the war.
Overall, an interesting look at these two icons. Mar 10, Bruce rated it really liked it Shelves: politics , us-history , world-history , culture-studies. I recommend the reading of this book both for its revelations about these two men, who were sometimes heroes and sometimes villains. Two American "heroes" are the protagonists in this study of a part of American history not usually touched upon in general American History courses. There are 'inconvenient truths' that are ignored or glossed over to perpetuate strongly believed myths.
The author shows both these men to be instrumental in the rise of the Third Reich. One because of his deep seated I recommend the reading of this book both for its revelations about these two men, who were sometimes heroes and sometimes villains. One because of his deep seated anti-Semitism, the other possibly due to his naivete.
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In some ways one view what happened in the past as being similar to what is occurring now. Millionaires are marching in tune A clique of U.
This book was published in and like good history books it has cautionary words for today. The last sentence of the book needs to be heeded: "Unless we honestly examine the phenomena that fueled the rise of the destructive social forces championed by Ford and Lindbergh we ignore--at our peril--a cautionary tale of intolerance, abuse of power, and reckless hero worship just as applicable to our times. Jun 20, Eric Mccutcheon rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction.
Really well researched book on Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh. Lots of info I hadn't known much about. Unfortunately, the author's bias comes through a little heavy-handed at times. Mar 27, Frank rated it really liked it Shelves: historical , non-fiction , war , holocaust. In this alternate history, Roth poses the question "what would have happened if Charles Lindbergh, a Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semitic isolationist, had been elected president in He negotiates a cordial understanding with Adolf Hitler, and accepts his anti-Semitic policies.
All of this has profound effects on the American Jewish population and America in general. Henry Ford also plays a role in the fictional government posed by Roth. After reading this, I wanted to know more information about Lindbergh and his political views. Henry Ford propagated one of the most vile anti-Semitic campaigns in American history in the s and s. Ford used his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, to blame the Jews for most of the world's troubles. The newspaper introduced Americans to a variety of virulent anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, including the notorious "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" which purported to describe a Jewish plan for global domination.
Although it has long been known that Henry Ford, the company's founder, held anti-Semitic views, the extent of his involvement in Hitler's rise to power is in dispute. Referring to newly declassified government documents, Mr Wallace alleges that Nazi links at the Detroit company went well beyond Henry Ford.
The American Axis Henry Ford Charles Lindbergh And The Rise Of The Third Reich
The documents indicate that his son Edsel, the then company president, could have been prosecuted for trading with the enemy had he not died in Motown fears for Ford. The evidence included 11 letters between Edsel and the head of Ford's French division in which suggest that the parent company knew and approved of the manufacturing efforts being undertaken on behalf of the German military. Before America entered the war Ford supplied Germany with military equipment, while declining to make engines for the RAF, calling into question Ford's claims to have been "strictly neutral", says Mr Wallace.
Ford argues that it had no control over the use of slave labour at its German plant, as it lost control of the company after But documents cited in the book say the first forced labourers arrived at the factory before America entered the war.
Intelligence documents also suggest that Henry Ford's secretary, Ernest Liebold, was a Nazi spy who helped develop his boss's paranoia about Jews. Henry Ford is mentioned in Mein Kampf, and was hailed by Hitler, who kept a portrait of the industrialist above his desk, as "my inspiration". Mr Wallace said he was surprised how easily the reputations of Henry Ford and Lindbergh had been rebuilt.
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