The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City.

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Citation: Grandin, Greg. Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City. New York: Metropolitan, 2009. Book Review: Fordlandia Henry Ford tried to make a rubber plantation in the Brazilian Amazon jungle. He wanted his own supply of rubber so that he can make his own tires and hoses for his own cars since raw materials to make rubber were monopolized by European countries in those days. So he made his own American factory town by buying over 2 million acres of land in the heart of Brazil. He said he would pay the workers double the amount then they would get if they were to work someplace else in that type of work. Ford wanted this town to be just like one back home in America and it “became the terminus for a lifetime of venturesome notions about the best way to organize society” (Grandin 8) So Fordlandia had a hospital, a golf course, schools, a library, a power plant, a hotel, sidewalks, and rows of houses. Later shops, tailors, restaurants, and a butcher shop were added as Fordlandia grew. Henry Ford wanted everything to be of the American style since his own factories back home did so well. The food that was served was served cafeteria- style which the workers were not used to. Alcohol was prohibited since America was in Prohibition. Workers were told that they had to live the way of the American culture. They even had dances every week. Away from the residential part was where the saplings were planted, about two hundred trees per acre. There was also no botanist employed. Ford wanted the engineers to make all the decisions on the planting and growing of the saplings. But it didn’t work. Fordlandia was a huge failure. Not only did the saplings make enough rubber but Henry Ford could not Americanize the Brazilian jungle into his ideal community. I believe that the author was able to provide many reasons and examples to justify these facts. The workers were not able to live up to the standards of American living the way that Ford wanted...
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