Ford had a global vision of his action: he saw consumption as the key to peace. His commitment to reducing costs led to numerous technical and commercial innovations, and he set up a system of franchises to establish Ford dealerships in as many cities as possible in North America and in major cities on six continents. The Ford Foundation inherited most of Ford”s fortune, but the industrialist nevertheless ensured that his family retained permanent control. Moreover, he will assume the position of president of the Ford Motor Company for a long time. In the 1930s, Ford built up what the New York Times called “the largest private military force in the world”. He joined forces with the Detroit underworld, in particular to recruit mercenaries capable of intimidating trade unionists and carrying out punitive actions against striking workers.
The degree of Doctor of Engineering is awarded to him by the University of Michigan and Michigan State College. He also received an honorary LL.D. from Colgate University. In collaboration with Samuel Crowther, he wrote My Life, and Work (1922), Today and Tomorrow (1926), and Moving Forward (1930), which describe the development of his business and outline his social and industrial theories. His name is also associated with the book The International Jew and the newspaper The Dearborn Independent, which will lead to many controversies concerning his anti-Semitism and his links with the Nazi regime, some seeing him as one of Hitler”s teachers.
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