The Vagabonds

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Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Vagabonds , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 18, Dan rated it really liked it.

The Vagabonds

Woooo, was Henry Ford anti-Semitic, or what? Great book, but Ford and Edison, to a lesser extent was a racist d-bag. Apr 08, Andrew rated it really liked it. I like Guinn. He is both a novelist of the old west and an excellent writer of social history. This book which recounts the early automobile travel of the vagabonds Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone is a fascinating slice of history I knew nothing about.

Good portraits of thee Vagabonds in the context of the political and social history of the late teens and early twenties of the 20th century and the growth of the automobile, motels, and travel. I really enjoyed this book—particularly lea I like Guinn. I really enjoyed this book—particularly learning about iconic figures of the 20th century in a new context. Well written as well. Highly recommended. May 07, Jim Stennett rated it it was amazing. I read the galley and this is an excellent book not just for students of Ford or Edison, but for anyone interested in this era.

Fun, well written, highly researched and captivating. Jul 21, Melissa Dee rated it really liked it.

This book is social history at its best, exploring the relationships between the men, and setting their trips in the context of the history of the US at their time. May 27, Nancy rated it really liked it. As someone who loves s a "road trip," I enjoyed Jeff Guinn's non-fiction account of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone's travels in the early days of the automobile. Coming from Detroit, the Ford family looms large in that city in both a business and social sense, but I was not really aware of the extent of Ford's ingenuity in the public relations field.

The most fascinating element of the story to me is that these self-made men were so adept at manipulating the news media and the American public by promoting their businesses through their frequent "buddy trips" around the country.

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Ford may have been uneducated, bigoted, and narrow-minded in many ways, but he saw very clearly the value of presenting himself to the country as "just folks" and the adventures of The Vagabonds were conceived to burnish that image. Jeff Guinn has written an informative, but readable, book on a narrow facet of the lives of three important Americans and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and learning about this facet of American history.

Sep 24, Tena Edlin rated it it was ok Shelves: audio-books , informational-nonfiction. This was OK, but I wanted more. I really liked the parts about how the Vagabonds' road trips helped inspire the country to also take road trips and how those trips created motels, campgrounds, auto garages, and lots of other amenities we take for granted today. Interestingly, I cared less about the descriptions of the actual lives of Ford, Edison, and Firestone. Aug 04, Matt Cannon rated it really liked it. It was interesting to read about the places they visited, such as the Everglades and many other areas across the United States in a much, much different world than today.

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What I enjoyed most about this book was all random facts you learned about each of the men. How Firestone created tires that served a legitimate need that we take for granted today. Other big companies such as GE came along and got most of the profit from his inventions. Ford was the central character and the quasi-leader of the Vagabonds. The book studied him a lot, including his potential run for President, how he started and ran Ford and much, much more.


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Jul 31, Bookreporter. It might be a shopping or theater excursion to New York City, a golf trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, or one of many other possible adventures. Perhaps it once conjured up visions of a group of men enjoying themselves without their spouses, but that is no longer the case. From to , Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and tire tycoon Harvey Firestone, joined by naturalist John Burroughs, explored the blossoming roadways of America, traveling to various locations and meeting citizens across the nation.

In this lighthearted but detailed history of Ford and Edison, Guinn, an award-winning investigative journalist and historian, has put both of those writing talents to good use, creating a charming account of America in the early 20th century. Growing up, I have vivid memories of driving around Lake Michigan, venturing across the border to visit family in Canada, and other car journeys.

As a father, I recall fondly a lengthy road trip to South Dakota and then to Winnipeg with my family. They were wonderful. Ford and Edison undertook their trips hoping to do more than see the sights of our nation. They were on a mission to improve and encourage automobile travel in America. They were leading by example. When they began their journey, America had not yet constructed the vast interstate highway system that would forever change automobile travel.

Hotels, fast food franchises and even gas stations had not appeared on American roads. And those roads were often unpaved and treacherous. Ford and Edison did not travel with a Garmin or a Motor Club guide, but they did have a caravan of Ford automobiles and an entourage of chefs, butlers and other aides.

And everywhere they traveled, they were met by journalists and throngs of citizens eager to see in public these two giants of industry.

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The King of the Vagabonds | The Baroque Cycle Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

On their first journey, to the Florida Everglades, a complication arose. The Florida trip qualified, and several women, including Clara Ford, embarked with their male companions on their maiden journey, which included the Everglades and less-than-idyllic conditions. Apparently, the ladies were not enamored and declined to join their husbands on future excursions.


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Each year with one exception is chronicled by Guinn in an enjoyable and easily read travelogue. Beyond these escapades, Guinn provides readers with colorful and insightful portraits of these two giants of American industry. They were on different career trajectories as Edison struggled to develop new scientific ideas, while Ford, due to the success of his Model T, found his reputation in America rising.

It reminds us of bygone eras and a changing America when the landscape of our nation was forever impacted by the invention and production of the automobile.

Davina & The Vagabonds and Hot Club of Cowtown

Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman Jul 31, Matt Hooper rated it really liked it. I did not.

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For the record, I've asked other history aficionados if they knew this, and most of them did not. So, there you go.

The Vegabonds - Shaky Hands

Jeff Guinn has spotted you a future Double or Final Jeopardy answer on the cover of his newest book. Famous people vacationing together isn't a new thing; it's been going on since Meriwether Lewis and William C Did you know that for the better part of a decade, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs regularly road-tripped throughout rural America?

Famous people vacationing together isn't a new thing; it's been going on since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.