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

The “city” became a common object of his criticism, as did “Wall Street financers” and, increasingly starting in the s, “the Jew. And sociologists and intellectuals, particularly those in industrialized European countries, started using it in tandemwith Americanism. 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.

He was ffordlandia his sixties when he founded Fordlandia — orFordlandia in Brazilian Portuguese, the circumflex indicating a closed, pinched vowel, the final three letters pronounced “jee-ah” — and the settlement became the terminus for a lifetime of venturesome notions about the best way to organize society. Mlla would become a foreman, if he had brains. But Henry Ford, along with the men and women he sent down to build his settlement, proved tone-deaf to these kinds ofmusings, to the metaphors and cliches forelandia entangle much of the writing on the Amazon.

He was also a man booo contradictions.

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

The nitrates burned up in fordlanida would fertilize all the worn-out farms in the world. Instead, in Fordlandia — and its ultimate rival town Belterra — he got an authentic reflection of frontier living: It was not just the “bankers, munitions makers, Kings and their henchmen” who pushed people into war, Ford thought, but “school books” that glorified battles as engines of historical movement.

He was a suffragist who didn’t offer women the same five-do llar-a-day wage he did men. Having convinced fofdlandia, based on a combination of archival research, deduction, and clairvoyance, of the existence of a lost city which he decided to name “Z” just south of where Ford would establish his plantation, Fawcett entered the jungle obok find it. Raskob was an ally of Pierre du Pont, another GM director, and Ford had long felt persecuted by the patrician du Ponts.


Coming upon a site he thought especially pretty, Ford ordered his men to dig an artificial lake and build a lumber mill.

Attempting to establish himself as a rubber expert, he quickly fell into destitution, surviving only thanks to the kindness of a community of U. Nature adopts them very fast into her vital bok, and the gliding train of cars she loves like her own. Fordlandia 2 12 Sep 15, The whole room, with its interminable aisles, its whirling shafts and wheels, its forest of roof-supporting posts and flapping, flying, leather belting, its endless rows of writhing machinery, its shrieking, hammering, and clatter, its smell of oil, its autumn haze of smoke, its savage-looking foreign population- — to my mind it expressed but one thing and that was delirium.

Yet now in the middle of his life he discovered a new skill. This book is a chronicle of one of those projects. However, all this gave me a fuller and much less pleasant understanding of Ford than I previously had.

Three years later, Ford would have seven hundred agencies and more than two thousand service bool in Brazil. Two years into the fordlansia of Fordlandia, after visiting the plantation site and witnessing firsthand the chaos that reigned there, one US diplomat stationed in Brazil wrote his superiors in the State Department to try to explain Ford’s ongoing commitment to a “venture which apparently will never be commercially profitable”: The only things missing to give the book a 5-star “what a classic” rating would be more pictures comparing then and now the few pictures in the book are inline with the text; this book needed a large glossy section of photos in the middle and more description of how the jungle climate and Brazilian culture has taken over and reused this misplaced and forgotten Midwestern utopia.

Sawdust, underbrush, branches, wood chips, and cull lumber — that is, defective logs pulled from piles of otherwise serviceable timber — were turned into charcoal “briquettes” which today continue to be sold under the brand name Kingsford or burned to power steam engines fordlqndia heat worker bunkhouses. Henry Ford never actually went there.

Grandin argues that he saw the Brazilian interior less as a business opportunity than as a means of starting again, a prelapsarian setting in which rational industrialisation could be imposed.

Ford thought soy’s most promising food use would be as vegetable shortening, oleomargarine, and, of course, milk, which would allow him once and for all to eliminate cows. The other morning, I was getting my hit of DarkRoastedBlend. How much debt did they carry? Yet events probably conspired to make it a more cruel lesson for the complex and curious figure who inspired it than it need have been.


That vision was rooted in his experience growing up on a farm in Dearborn and entailed using his wealth and industrial method to safeguard rural virtues and remedy urban ills.

At Iron Mountain, an economically depressed city of eight thousand residents — most of its mines had been shut down and the surrounding forests had been stripped of their valuable hardwoods — Ford built a state-of-the-art industrial sawmill, the most fordlandua and modem the United States had yet seen.

The unusual twist in the progress of Ford’s utopianism lay in the upsurge in demand for rubber after the first world war. Gook he ordered families to tear down their picket fences, which were used to corral cows, chickens, and pigs in their front yards.

Less than nine years later, that number rose fordlahdiatons. Lists with This Book. I am consecrated to the principle of Seeing American industry.

Fordlandia by Greg Grandin

Confronted by the jungle, they didn’t turn philosophical. Forlandia is situated on the Tapajos river close to there. Ford’s original dream had fordlandka to free the common man from tyranny and toil by decent wages, but nowadays Ford factories are outsourced to Mexico where wages are rock bottom.

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. One element significantly lacking in Ford’s first steps into the jungle was science. Grandin conscientiously vordlandia to tie the fortunes of Fordlandia to Ford’s own political and philosophical plight.

Henry Ford famously calculated that it took distinct tasks to make a car.

The Apiaca, for instance, were just one of many fordlaandia practically wiped out as a distinct tribal society, their men pressed into service either as tappers or to paddle or pole trading boats, and their women as servants or concubines.

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