Clara: Mrs. Henry Ford

Clara: Mrs. Henry Ford

Posted by jack_miller | Published 10 months ago

With 5 ratings

By: Ford R. Bryan

Purchased At: $24.99

"Pick a good model and stay with it," Henry Ford once said. No, he was not talking about cars; he was talking about marriage. Was Clara Bryant Ford a "good model"? Her husband of fifty-nine years seems to have thought so. He called her "The Believer," and indeed Clara's unwavering support of Henry's pursuits and her patient tolerance of the quirks and obsessions that accompanied her husband's genius made it possible for him to change the world. In telling the story of Clara Ford, author Ford Bryan also charts the course of the growing automobile industry and the life of the enigmatic man at its helm. But the book's heart is Clara herself—daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother; cook, gardener, and dancer; modest philanthropist and quiet role model. Clara is newly revealed in accounts and documents gleaned from personal papers, oral histories, and archival material never made public until now. These include receipts and recipes, diaries and genealogies, and 175 photographs.
I would give this book 5 stars based solely on the quality of the book itself, including the dozens and dozens of photographs, the reprinted recipes, letters, etc. and the thoroughness and earnestness of the text. It really is a beautiful book! I wish I had bought it sooner as it would have fleshed out the book I just read about Henry Ford in which his wife Clara was necessarily a bit player. This was a fascinating family in all aspects and Clara Ford contributed a great deal to the story, as mothers and wives usually do.

- nala_ortiz

I felt like I really got to know the Ford's after reading this book.

- moshe_hall

Lots of well documented details about the lives of the Fords. Much more depth than most biographies.

- nehemiah_bailey

This is probably the worst biography I have ever read. Having recently toured Fairlane Estate in Dearborn, I was interested in learning more about the woman who was instrumental in designing and building such an interesting house and gardens. I learned NOTHING from "Ford Bryan's" (if that's his real name) book. Mr. "Bryan" took incredible pains to record the details of every sales receipt and house purchase made by the Ford Family but there was literally nothing substantial about the people he was supposed to be writing about. If it wasn't for the pictures, we would have no idea what Henry or Clara even looked like! As for their personalities? A neighbor or two was quoted from probably some old letters or interviews but the book presents a huge family of one-dimensional, cardboard characters from the past. I suspect that Clara Bryant Ford was a woman worthy of an incredible biography. Let's hope it comes along soon!

- adrien_parker

This biography of Clara Bryant Ford was one of several books written by Ford R. Bryan, a cousin of Henry Ford, who died on May 14, 2004, the day after his 92nd birthday. Clara saved everything, and many of the materials she saved were used to write this extremely detailed account of her life. The book includes diaries, recipes, and even some family history and genealogy of the Bryant and Ford families.

- evangeline_gutierrez

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