Sunday, November 2, 2014

"The Arsenal of Democracy" by A. J. Baime

Boychik Lit Book Reviews - No. 10 - KRLA 870 AM Los Angeles

The subtitle of this World War II history recaps the story: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm America at War. At its heart, it’s a father-son feud – between Nazi sympathizer and professed pacifist Henry Ford and his future-minded son Edsel. Against his father’s judgment, in 1941 Edsel answered FDR’s appeal for mass production of warplanes. Starting from bare farmland, the Ford company built the enormous Willow Run plant. Applying Henry’s assembly-line methods, it was capable of turning out one 60,000-pound bomber every day. Edsel thought it was perfectly reasonable to build one bomber every hour. The plant was operational in less than two years, when the Germans had been cranking out thousands of aircraft for more than a decade. That’s how fast and effectively American ingenuity met the challenge. It’s both inspiring and sobering, as we recognize that sometimes Big Government is called upon to do big things. Author A. J. Baime is an editor at Playboy magazine. This engaging story is proof that he’s more than a pretty face. For Boychik Lit, I’m Gerald Everett Jones. My humorous novel Mr. Ballpoint is about a father and son who fought the wacky Pen Wars of 1945. You can find readings from the book in my podcasts.

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