Review Essay: Upton Sinclair, the Flivver King: a Story of Ford-America

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October 28, 2011

History 102B

Review Essay: Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America

The Two Messages from Upton Sinclair

The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America was written by Upton Sinclair, and first published in 1937. The novel tells about the story life of the Henry Ford, the founder of the famous Ford Motor Company, and Abner Shutt, a loyalty Ford worker. It described the American industry and people condition before, during, and after the World War I, from the lowest class to the top one in the American society. The novel was published by the United Auto Worker, a labor union that supported the American workers, and demanded for their working benefit. The main purpose of the novel was to describe the up and down of American people life, and criticize the Ford Motor Company’s working system, show the need of forming a labor union. After reading the book, the readers could find out that the labor union was ultimately necessary for the American industry to develop, and became as strong as what we have today.

The story starts when Abner was a little boy in an American middle class family. He as well as other children loved to see Mr. Henry Ford, a young man, worked and experienced to achieve his goal, creating the wagon that could run without horse. At last, he made the car. But in the beginning, there was no one wants to help starting his business. People believed that his car was only the toy for rich people while Henry Ford wanted it to become a simple transportation for all Americans. Nevertheless, he found out some partners to operate his business. He founded the Ford Motor Company. Meanwhile, Abner grew up and moved to Detroit to work. He had a difficult life before he met Henry Ford again, and had a job in his company. Ford Company’s income grew fast according to his famous Motor Model T, which was not expensive, and suitable for most of the American middle class people to buy. Abner’s family life became much...