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Fb2 Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II ePub

by Arthur Herman

Category: Biography and History
Subcategory: Business and Work
Author: Arthur Herman
ISBN: 1400069645
ISBN13: 978-1400069644
Language: English
Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (May 8, 2012)
Pages: 432
Fb2 eBook: 1251 kb
ePub eBook: 1907 kb
Digital formats: txt docx azw mobi

Herman, Arthur, 1956-.

Herman, Arthur, 1956-. New York : Random House. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Tracey Gutierres on June 21, 2013. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

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Freedom's Forge shows how FDR reached out to Bill Knudsen, a Danish American and the President of General Motors . Herman documents many of the American production achievements that led to victory in World War II.

Freedom's Forge shows how FDR reached out to Bill Knudsen, a Danish American and the President of General Motors, to spearhead the wartime production effort. Knudsen served as the head of the Office of Production Management and brought an experienced manufacturers' vision to the problem of producing war material

In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two . Praise for Freedom’s Forge A rambunctious book that is itself alive with the animal spirits of the marketplace.

In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two extraordinary American le magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser-helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the arsenal of democracy that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II. Knudsen? .

Freedom's Forge book. In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two extraordinary American le magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J.

Freedom's Forge reveals how two extraordinary American businessmen-General Motors automobile magnate .

Freedom's Forge reveals how two extraordinary American businessmen-General Motors automobile magnate William "Big Bill" Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser-helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the "arsenal of democracy" that propelled the Allies to victory in World War I.

Advance praise for Freedom's Forge " Freedom's Forge is the story of how the ingenuity and energy of the American private sector was turned loose to equip the finest military force on the face of the earth. In an era of gathering threats and shrinking defense budgets, it is a timely lesson told by one of the great historians of our time. -Donald Rumsfeld "World War II could not have been won without the vital support and innovation of American industry

For Croatia and Christ: The Croatian Army in World War II 1941–1945, Axis Europa Books, NY, 1996.

Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, Random House, New York, 2012. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985. For Croatia and Christ: The Croatian Army in World War II 1941–1945, Axis Europa Books, NY, 1996. The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II.

Herman, Arthur (2012). Building Victory: Aircraft Manufacturing in the Los Angeles Area in World War II. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4. Cypress, CA. ISBN 978-897906-0-4.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SELECTED BY THE ECONOMIST AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARRemarkable as it may seem today, there once was a time when the president of the United States could pick up the phone and ask the president of General Motors to resign his position and take the reins of a great national enterprise. And the CEO would oblige, no questions asked, because it was his patriotic duty.   In Freedom’s Forge, bestselling author Arthur Herman takes us back to that time, revealing how two extraordinary American businessmen—automobile magnate William Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II.   “Knudsen? I want to see you in Washington. I want you to work on some production matters.” With those words, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enlisted “Big Bill” Knudsen, a Danish immigrant who had risen through the ranks of the auto industry to become president of General Motors, to drop his plans for market domination and join the U.S. Army. Commissioned a lieutenant general, Knudsen assembled a crack team of industrial innovators, persuading them one by one to leave their lucrative private sector positions and join him in Washington, D.C. Dubbed the “dollar-a-year men,” these dedicated patriots quickly took charge of America’s moribund war production effort.   Henry J. Kaiser was a maverick California industrialist famed for his innovative business techniques and his can-do management style. He, too, joined the cause. His Liberty ships became World War II icons—and the Kaiser name became so admired that FDR briefly considered making him his vice president in 1944. Together, Knudsen and Kaiser created a wartime production behemoth. Drafting top talent from companies like Chrysler, Republic Steel, Boeing, Lockheed, GE, and Frigidaire, they turned auto plants into aircraft factories and civilian assembly lines into fountains of munitions, giving Americans fighting in Europe and Asia the tools they needed to defeat the Axis. In four short years they transformed America’s army from a hollow shell into a truly global force, laying the foundations for a new industrial America—and for the country’s rise as an economic as well as military superpower.   Featuring behind-the-scenes portraits of FDR, George Marshall, Henry Stimson, Harry Hopkins, Jimmy Doolittle, and Curtis LeMay, as well as scores of largely forgotten heroes and heroines of the wartime industrial effort, Freedom’s Forge is the American story writ large. It vividly re-creates American industry’s finest hour, when the nation’s business elites put aside their pursuit of profits and set about saving the world.Praise for Freedom’s Forge   “A rambunctious book that is itself alive with the animal spirits of the marketplace.”—The Wall Street Journal   “A rarely told industrial saga, rich with particulars of the growing pains and eventual triumphs of American industry . . . Arthur Herman has set out to right an injustice: the loss, down history’s memory hole, of the epic achievements of American business in helping the United States and its allies win World War II.”—The New York Times Book Review   “Magnificent . . . It’s not often that a historian comes up with a fresh approach to an absolutely critical element of the Allied victory in World War II, but Pulitzer finalist Herman . . . has done just that.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Comments to eBook Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II
Mildorah
Just before D-Day in 1944, General George S. Patton made a famous speech (also used in the movie Patton with George C. Scott) to the US 3rd Army in which he said, "We have the best food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we are going up against." Source: Patton: A Genius for War Patton: Genius for War, A.

In Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II by Arthur Herman, just published in May 2012, we learn why and how "the finest equipment" in the world was built in massive quantities for the allied cause.

At the start of World War II, the USA was a third rate military power. In 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland Hitler's Luftwaffe had a strength of nearly 8,500 fighters and bombers. The US Army air corps had barely 1/5th that number. Patton's Second Armored brigade had only 325 tanks while the Germans had more than 2,000. There were only 334,000 men in the total US armed forces. The US army ranked 18th largest in the world with about 190,000 men just ahead of Holland and behind Hungary and Romania. Time Magazine said "the US Army looked like a few nice boys with BB guns." There was no Military Industrial Complex, the USA was not a superpower and about 3/4's of the population supported isolationism and the preservation of peace at all cost.
From July 1940 to VJ day in August 1945 the United States produced a staggering $183 billion in arms. America's shipyards launched 141 aircraft carriers, eight battleships, 807 cruisers, destroyers and destroyer escorts, 203 submarines and almost 52 million tons of merchant shipping. US factories turned out 88,410 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces and 640,000 Jeeps. The United States produced 324,750 aircraft averaging 170 per day since 1942. Nearly 10 million American men and women would serve their country in uniform.

The United States, by the end of the war, had the best equipped fighting force on the planet. Moreover, through the lend lease program the United States had supplied many of the arms needs of Britain, the Soviet Union and other allied forces.

How did this remarkable transformation take place? FDR was wise enough to recognize that the power of American business, more often than not led by those who opposed him politically, needed to be harnessed in order to win the war. Freedom's Forge shows how FDR reached out to Bill Knudsen, a Danish American and the President of General Motors, to spearhead the wartime production effort. Knudsen served as the head of the Office of Production Management and brought an experienced manufacturers' vision to the problem of producing war material.

Herman documents many of the American production achievements that led to victory in World War II. In Freedom's Forge we learn about the unsung and nearly forgotten production heroes such as Bill Knudsen, Henry Kaiser and others that put the USA on a path to a rapid build-up of industrial production.

It was the free market that enabled America to gear up for war so effectively. Herman writes, "Production, however, remained an entirely voluntary process. The War Production Board could and did order companies not to produce things: new cars, for instance, and refrigerators and other heavy durable goods, It never told anyone what to make. That was left to the imagination of American business. This was how Bill Knudsen had designed things from the start, and it remained the pivot point of the entire wartime system. Everything made for the war effort was made by those who saw some advantage for themselves in doing so, and therefore they brought all their skills and tools and knowledge to bear on the task--both to help the country and to make some money...Nor was it entirely a coincidence that no other wartime economy depended more on free enterprise incentives than America's, and that none produced more of everything in quality and quantity, both in military and civilian goods."

American business showed remarkable flexibility during the war. The famous carmaker Henry Ford, who was an ardent isolationist before Pearl Harbor and despised FDR's New Deal, built the massive Willow Run production facility to crank out B-24 aircraft. Henry Kaiser, who had specialized in road construction projects before the war, became a massive ship and aircraft builder. Kaiser led the "Six Companies" that produced thousands of Liberty Ships that ferried men and equipment to the war zones. Kaiser had one Liberty ship built in an astonishing 4 days, fifteen hours and twenty-six minutes. Winston Churchill declared, "The foundation of all our hopes and schemes was the immense shipbuilding program of the United States."

Not all US casualties in World War II served in the military; many were from the world of work and business. Morrison Knudsen (another "Six Companies" member) had employees serving alongside US Marines in the defense of Wake Island in December 1941. A Japanese amphibious force was dispatched to capture the island in late 1941. Many of these MK engineers fought, were killed or wounded, and were captured and spent years in Japanese POW camps. Thousands of civilian merchant mariners aboard Liberty ships lost their lives particularly as a result of Nazi U-boats in the North Atlantic. On December 30th, 1942 Boeing's best civilian test pilot, Eddie Allen, was killed with the rest of his crew while test-flying a B-29 which crashed near Boeing field in Seattle. Boeing later sorted out the issues with the B-29 and the "Superfortress" bomber; these planes ignited Japanese cities with incendiary bombs (developed by Kaiser) and delivered the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Arthur Herman's fine book is not without a few flaws. Herman writes that Hap Arnold "was the only senior military or civilian leader to oppose dropping the atomic bomb." Yet in Eisenhower's own book Mandate for Change, he recalls a Potsdam conference encounter with Henry Stimson, the head of the War Department, where he "voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives." (Source: D.D. Eisenhower, Mandate for Change, 312-13).

If you enjoyed Freedom's Forge you will also like America Invades America Invades: How We've Invaded or been Militarily Involved with almost Every Country on Earth by Kelly / Laycock and Italy Invades
Gathris
Freedom's Forge portrays the businessmen and industrialists who organized and managed the production of war materials for the US involvement in WW ll as unsung heros. Without their organizing and production genius, defeating the Axis powers would have been much more difficult if not impossible.

The war started with the Axis powers well-armed and with substantials resource production capabilities. However, during the last two years of the war, the US overtook them in a big way and made war equipment faster than all the Axis powers combined. We were also able to supply our Allies with much of what they needed; especially England and Russia.

Many history books have characterized these men (such as William Knudsen and Henry Kaiser, among others) as robber barons. They did profit handsomely, but they did earn it and the reader is left with the sense they did what they had to because of a "calling"; they were driven and not just by profit.

What made these industrial giants' leadership interesting is that most of them were Republicans who were appointed by Progressive Democrats under the Roosevelt administration; you will have to read the book to see how all this turned out.

Freedom's Forge will provide the reader with a different perspective of what was going on behind the scenes of the WW ll effort; it is a good read.

Rich
Gigafish
I liked the Arsenal of Democracy by Baime better. Herman’s criticism of labor, FDR, and the New Deal
Subtracts from the great story of American ingenuity. Herman’s book is interesting and there is room for
Both books on your shelf. Knudsen is a hero all history people should know so I do recommend this book.
In an era where labor needed help from the government and FDR provided help and hope, I wish Herman
Focused exclusively on the great accomplishments of labor and manage,ent together.
Binar
I was around during this era. I was young, but most of the names were familiar to me. My father was transferred from NJ to California in 1940 in anticipation of the shipyards being built by Henry Kaiser in Richmond. (Said to being built to supply ships to England.) He worked at the yard in Alameda until the ones in Richmond were open. We had a house being built in Richmond and after church on December 7, 1941 we were on our way to check out the progress when we heard the report of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The next day we listened to Roosevelt's speech on the school PA system. There were no war protester then.
Pryl
This is a fantastic chronicle of American industry, and one man, Big Bill Knudsen, and how American business and American production saved the nation during WW II. This book in absolutely no way discounts the bravery and sacrifices so many American's and our allies made during WW II but it does clearly illustrate how the untold story of American business gave the America military people, and our allies, everything needed to save the nation and the world from Axis tyranny during WW II. In my humble opinion, this book should be required reading for every high senior.
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