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Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City
by Greg Grandin
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805082360, Hardcover)Amazon Best of the Month, June 2009: Proving that truth can indeed be stranger than fiction, Fordlandia is the story of Henry Ford's ill-advised attempt to transform raw Brazilian rainforest into homespun slices of Americana. With sales of his Model-T booming, the automotive tycoon saw an opportunity to expand his reach further by exploiting a downtrodden Brazilian rubber industry. His vision, the laughably-named Amazonian outpost of Fordlandia, would become an enviable symbol of efficiency and mark the Ford Motor Company as a player on the global stage. Or so he thought. With thoughtful and meticulous research, author Greg Grandin explores the astounding oversights (no botanists were consulted to confirm the colony's agricultural viability) and painful arrogance (little thought was paid to how native Brazilians would react to an American way of life) that hamstrung the project from the start. Instead of ushering in a new era of commerce, Fordlandia became a cautionary tale of a dream destroyed by hubris. --Dave Callanan
Take a Closer Look at Images from Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City(Click on images to enlarge)
A sketch of the opera house in Manus,
Brazil (aka. "the tropical Paris")
An Amazonian family
employed in the rubber trade
Ford executives on the
deck of The Ormoc en
route to the Amazon
Workers clearing the rainforest
before construction can begin
Mundurucú mission children
with German nuns
A Lincoln Zephyr stuck
in Fordlandia mud
Fordlandia's Riverside Avenue
near the Tapajós River
Ruins of Fordlandia's powerhouse
Ruins of the sawmill
at Iron Mountain
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:43 -0400)
The stunning, never-before-told story of the quixotic attempt to recreate small-town America in the heart of the Amazon, "Fordlandia" depicts a desperate quest to salvage the bygone America that the Ford factory system did much to dispatch.
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