Book Review From These Beginnings


BookReview: From These Beginnings

  1. a) What techniques did Henry Ford incorporate to turn his small automobile company into the giant motor ford company?

Sincehis childhood, Henry Ford was a great risk taker and very innovative.It was this character that majorly enabled him to develop his smallautomobile into a giant motor Ford company. Using these innovativeideas, Ford was able to revolutionize manufacturing. For instance, acomplete chassis that would initially use 728 minutes was improved tocomplete the same in 93 minutes (Roderick &amp Gregory, 2007). Themain techniques he used to turn his small automobile into the giantmotor ford company was application of an assembly line that was inconstant motion, division of labor, coordinating operations carefullyand increasing the wage for his employees.

b).Inwhat ways was Henry Ford a symbol for the ages of the 1920s? How doesFord epitomize the ambivalence of many Americans regarding modernity?

Atno point in his life did Henry Ford think of relenting or giving upin his efforts. Instead, he took bigger risks which resulted inbetter and encouraging results. By 1920, Henry had invented apowerful car, modelT, which with vigorous campaigns and advertisementsaw half of the Americans own it (Roderick &amp Gregory, 2007). Hefurther increased the sales by offering the lowest price that wouldever have existed in the market. By 1920s, he was a symbol for theages his leadership skills, mechanical ability, risk taking capacity,visions and ability to attract the best employees are bench marksthat every manufacturer desires.

Fordepitomized the ambivalence of many Americans regarding modernity inthe different views and techniques he applied in his day to day lifeas a way of living a modern life.

c).Likemany other industrialists, Ford opposed government intervention toease the ravages of the Great Depression. In their view, what werethe causes of and the solutions for the economic downturn?

Manyindustrialists, Ford included did not believe that the government atany point would help ease the detrimental effects of the GreatDepression. Rather, they had this believe that the governmentintervention would only worsen the situation. The causes of theeconomic downturn according to these industrialists were acombination of various factors (Roderick &amp Gregory, 2007).Reduced purchases by members across the board, economic policies bythe Americans, inequality, and shortage of raw materials thus makingpurchasing power unaffordable. The industrialists believed that thegovernment had a hand in fueling most of these factors. According tothese industrialists, the solution to this factors was to own thewhole supply chain. By 1920, Ford’s company had introduced ironore, coal mines, small mills, blast furnaces and all other necessarymaterials required in his manufacturing company. This way, there wassurety of supply of raw materials and thus curbing the effects of theGreat Depression.

  1. a). Two schools of thought on achieving advancement for black people dominated late-19th and early 20th century America. Compare and contrast the philosophies and practices of Booker T Washington and William EB Du Bois.

BookerT Washington and William EB Du Bois were both famous Africa Americanleaders in the late 19thand early 20thcentury in America (Roderick &amp Gregory, 2007). Both wereactivists and made agreements to help unite blacks to enable themgain their civil rights. They agreed that blacks needed to haveeducation and campaigned for an end of discrimination against theblacks. They greatly agreed and had similar focus on social,political and economic issues. Despite these similarities, they toohad differences. They did not agree on what blacks needed to do toearn their recognition. Ideally, they had different strategies on howequality would be achieved.

b).Legaldecisions and nonviolent resistance proved successful during the1950s in promoting black civil rights. Identify and discuss some ofthe watershed events of that decade.

Theruling by the Supreme Court on the case between brown and board ofeducation whereby it was unanimously agreed that segregation inschools was unconstitutional. A Chicagoan young boy visitingMississippi is brutally beaten and murdered for allegations ofwhistling to a white woman, an all-white jury arrested and prosecutedthe white men involved in the case. Victory for Montgomery boycottwhen U.S. Supreme court ruled that the segregation of the buses wasunconstitutional.

c).Bythe 1960s, King’s nonviolent resistance was challenged by youngerAfrican Americans who believed his methods outmoded. Why did thesemilitant individuals reject King? Does King’s philosophy still havemerit in the early 21st century?

Theyoung African Americans believed that the king did not participatefully in the movement and had distanced himself from the dangers thelocals faced. His philosophy does not have merit in the 21stcentury.

  1. a). What experiences compelled Friedan to write the Feminine Mystique? What is feminine mystique in Friedan’s view?

Friedanhad observed how women relentlessly sacrificed their lives and socialstatus for their marriage life. The challenges women underwent andlack of recognition of their efforts compelled her to write the bookFeminine Mystique (Roderick &amp Gregory, 2007). In the book,Friedan writes on how the social status of women can be improved. Awoman does not have to be a house wife in order to have a successfulmarriage. Rather, women can as well choose a career path just liketheir male counterparts. This way, women can be in a position to earnthe respect they deserve in the society. It can be summed up that hergenuine concern for equality for women was the main driving motivethat propelled her to write the book.

Femininemystique presents the cry of women on the concern of the wayintelligent and educated people were barred from professional life onthe basis that they were women. To the society, they were supposed tobe a set of reproductive organ. Friedan wrote it from her ownexperience an instance being when she had to drop her education forthe sake of her relationship.

b.Themid-1970s was the zenith of the women’s movement. Why was this?What were some of the landmark events of the period, and whathappened to the movement in the 1980s and 1990s?

Asocial movement on civil rights took place in the 1970s. It was inthe determination of the women to have their voices heard. Landmarkevents intended to improve the welfare of women were witnessed afterthis movement. Examples include passing of the pregnancydiscrimination Act, family and medical leave act (Roderick &ampGregory, 2007) The movement ideally fought for their independencewhich unfortunately has never been realized decades later. In the1980s and 1990s most of the cries women presented in this movementwere met.

  1. a). in what way did Eleanor Roosevelt`s childhood propel her into a career of publicservice?

EleanorRoosevelt was born to a divided family because of his father’salcoholism. She was thus taught by a private tutor at hergrandmother’s home. She developed interest for books and turned tothem to avoid the personal losses as she lived with her grandmother.Her grandmother later enrolled her to a school where she met MarieSouvestre who mentored her to become intellectually independent(Roderick &amp Gregory, 2007). These experiences during herchildhood helped her a lot in her achievement of her career in thepublic service.

b).Asa governor’s wife and first lady, Roosevelt was known as a “newwoman.” With regard to her personal life, politics, gender, andrace, how did she, like Henry Ford with regard to modernitydemonstrate ambivalence about being a “new woman”?

WhenRoosevelt became the first lady, she had to withdraw from the variousroles she was engaged in before this new title. She however devised anew idea on her new roles that would maintain her independence andactivities in regard to her public and political life (Roderick &ampGregory, 2007). She influenced the election of more women ininfluential positions, developed influence in advocating for civilrights, and helped European refugees in the wake of the world war.


Roderick,N. &amp Gregory, G. (2007). FromThese Beginnings.: New York: Longman Publishing Group.

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