- The Flivver King
Infobox Book |
name = The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America
author = Upton Sinclair
country = United States
language = English
genre = historical fiction
United Automobile Workers(1937), Charles H. Kerr (1984)
release_date = 1937 (1st edition)
media_type = Print
pages = 119
isbn = ISBN ~0-88286-054-2~ (Charles H. Kerr edition, 1984)
"The Flivver King" "A Story of Ford-America" is a novel by
Upton Sinclair, published in 1937. It was an important piece of literature in the organizing and unionization of Ford Motor Companymanufacturing plants in the same year.ref|akpress
On Bagley Street in the city of Detroit, Little Abner Shutt begins the story by explaining to his mother that "there's a feller down the street says he's goin' to make a wagon that'll run without a hoss."ref|1stprint That man of course is Henry Ford. The story follows the progress and growth of
Ford Motor Companythrough the perspective of a number of generations of a single family.
"The Flivver King" demonstrates the effects of
Scientific Managementin factories. The Ford factory began with very skilled workers. Through a process of breaking the skilled job down into simple steps, they were able to hire lower wage, less skilled individuals to do the work. The Flivver King explains how the Ford Company used scientific management to replace skilled workers while successfully increasing production.
The first edition, published by the
UAWstates on the cover, that it was printed "in an edition of 200,000 copies for its members"ref|1stprint. There is no mistake that the book was meant to provoke and challenge its readers; on the cover (seen [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
] ), as a preface to the first edition it is stated:
Characters in "The Flivver King"
Henry Ford- Self made man and billionaire industrialist who starts out with pure motives, but becomes the "prisoner of a billion dollars" as well as a cynical anti-Semiteand cultural conservative.
*Abner Shutt - The tome's idealistic protagonist patriarch. A working class fellow who grew up down the street from young inventor Henry Ford, he throws his lot in life in with the
Ford Motor Companyand remains fiercely loyal to Ford in spite of the injustices he experiences.
*John Shutt - Eldest son of Abner, he chooses a working class path with Ford middle management but believes his life is better than his father's.
*Hank Shutt - Abner's middle son and namesake of the family benefactor who dabbles in organized crime during
Prohibitionbefore becoming involved in Ford's "Service Department" (the company's private police force who violently put down labor disputes at the company) and realizing the two worlds are not that different.
*Tom Shutt - Youngest son and athlete who becomes radicalized in college and begins organizing for the
*Daisy Shutt - Daughter who opts for a
clericalcareer and marriage to a bookkeeper.
# [http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/sinclair.htm Upton Sinclair, "The Flivver King"] , from the included synopsis.
#Sinclair, Upton. "The Flivver King". United Autoworkers of America, Griswold Building, Detroit, MI. Upton Sinclair, Station A, Pasadena, CA. 1937.
* [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0882860542 Amazon.com:"The Flivver King:A Story of Ford-America"] Includes book reviews.
* [http://www.fungames.com.au/product-detail/8/book/0882860542 Book Reviews from fungames.com.au] and the exact same [http://www.mhgs.edu/store/detpage.asp?asin=0882860542&field-keywords=G&schMod=dvd&type=&sb=s Book Reviews from Mars Hill Graduate School]
* [http://www.thememoryhole.org/fordnazi.htm Memory Hole:Henry Ford and the Nazis] References a passage of "The Flivver King".
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