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“The Last Days of Henry Ford” by Henry Dominguez

Henry Ford on his 1896 quadcycle in the summer of 1946. [Photo courtesy of the Racemaker Press]

As someone who read Robert Lacey’s immense book on the Ford empire over twenty years ago and several other books on Ford, I was a bit hesitant when I heard Racemaker Press was releasing a book on the Last Days of Henry Ford.  The libraries and bookstores are filled with biographies on Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy. The automotive section is packed with books on Ferrari, Porsche and of course, Ford. However after reading the first few pages of ‘Last Days…’ my indifference quickly changed.

Book cover, The Last Days of Henry Ford by Henry Dominguez

Book cover, The Last Days of Henry Ford by Henry Dominguez

The author, Henry Dominguez explains how the project got started. “I have been writing about Ford history for nearly forty years and thought that everything had been written about Mr. Ford that could be written about the motor magnate. Every so often, a “new” biography would come out, which I would readily buy, looking for that new tidbit of information. Unfortunately, they were all the same story, just told a little differently. But then a serendipitous thing happened.”

Dominguez continues, “While I was doing research on another Ford book, I made contact with the widow of an old-time Ford dealer—she had some photographs and other materials that she was going to give me. Among the stuff she gave me was a book entitled “The Day Lincoln Was Shot,” an almost minute-by-minute account of that fateful event. I started reading it, and then it hit me—a similar book could be written about Henry Ford’s last day!”

The author weaves an exceptional story revealing new and fascinating information of Mr. Ford.  The 366-page book submits this information through transcriptions of recorded interviews beginning with the Ford’s long time maid, Rosa Buhler who lived full-time with Henry and his wife, Clara.  Additional staff interviews and the author’s tenacious investigation of newspaper accounts and archives aid you to get a look at the life of Ford but also of life in Dearborn and Detroit in early post-war America.  The author’s foresight to interview those who witnessed the final phase of Henry Ford’s life was timely as several passed away shortly afterwards.

“This book started out to be the story of Henry Ford’s last day,” the author remarked in a publisher press release. “But I decided to expand it to cover the year before his death, the viewing and the funeral after his death, and the death of his widow Clara, three years later, to give the reader a sense of what Henry Ford had become during the end of his life, and how his wife carried on after he was gone.  And I’m glad I did because it turns out that Henry Ford’s story is fascinating right up to the bitter end.”

This book is well researched and gives a perspective on a facet of Mr. Ford’s life that has only been glossed over in most biographies. The book is also illustrated with over 100 photographs and has the only color photograph known to be taken of Mr. Ford.  A truly enjoyable read that has rekindled my interest in the first family of American Industry.

When I received the book from Racemaker Press, it turned out to be the hard-bound special edition, which included the slip case, pull out color print and Ford family tree. The Special Edition from Racemaker Press will also be signed by the author and numbered.

366 pages hard-bound, dust jacket
$45.00 plus shipping and handling

Special Edition available 500 numbered and signed with slip cover
$65.00 plus shipping and handling

Racemaker Press, Inc.
39 Church Street
Boston, MA 02116
617-723-6533

www.racemaker.com

Purchase this book with the following link: The Last Days of Henry Ford



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Steve Zautke
Steve Zautke, a Milwaukee, WI native, was raised in the sport of auto racing. His father, Bill, was a movie photographer that shot racing footage at tracks such as the Milwaukee Mile and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 1960's and 1970's Steve's first professional job in racing was as an Emergency Medical Technician at tracks such as Angell Park and Hales Corners Speedway (1988-1991). Steve has also worked for the Milwaukee Mile as videographer, in media relations and historian (1993-2011). Steve also has worked as a reporter for Racing Information Systems (RIS) and has written features for 'Vintage Oval Racing' and 'Victory Lane' magazines. Most recently, Steve has written a book on Road America for Arcadia Publishing. ( http://www.amazon.com/Road-America-Nascar-Library-Collection/dp/1467111457 ) Steve co-hosts "Sparky's Final Inspection" a motorsports-based radio show with hosts, Steve "Sparky" Fifer and "NASCAR Girl" Summer Santana on Sports Radio 1250AM in Milwaukee and is also available on the internet at www.Sportradio1250.com. A member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Induction Committee, Steve follows all types of racing from the dirt tracks to Formula One.