Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

The Great Depression

  • A Job at Ford's
  • The Road to Rock Bottom

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $79.95 Series (public): $490.00
  • Date: Copyright 1993. Released 1993.
  • Descriptors: Ford, Henry. United States - History - 20th century. Depressions, Economic.
  • Production Information: Live action, Stills, Archival footage. Videos: 2. Color, b&w. Closed captioned. 60 , 60 min.
  • Production Company: Blackside, Inc.
  • Available from: PBS Video 1320 Braddock Pl. Alexandria, VA 22314-1698 (703)739-5380
  • ISBN: ISBN 0-7936-1037-0. 0-7936-1036-9.
  • Cataloging: ||Ford, Henry, 1863-1947||Floyd, Pretty Boy, 1904-1934||United States - History - 1901-1953
  • Print Entry #: 5:1388 Reviewer: Glen Kaltenbrun

    A Job at Ford's examines Henry Ford, the popular visionary, who in 1914 paid workers an unheard of $5 a day and who was once voted the greatest man after Napoleon and Christ. Henry Ford was also an anti-Semitic tyrant who by 1927 was slashing worker's pay and speeding up his assembly lines.

    Day-to-day life on the lines at Ford's massive River Rouge plant is tellingly contrasted with Greenfield Village, his pet project and celebration of a slowly paced 19th century that Ford himself had rendered obsolete.

    The Road to Rock Bottom details the career of bank robber and folk hero Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, killer droughts in the farm belt, and the Bonus Army's march on Washington.

    Chilling are Herbert Hoover's blind denial of the seriousness of the drought and its resultant starvation, and the image of a preening egomaniacal Douglas MacArthur, the arrogant loose cannon commanding military forces charged with removing the Bonus Army from Washington. Also memorable are interviews with Floyd's son and the son of a sheriff who Floyd murdered.

    Technically, these programs cannot be improved upon. Not only is the archival material in first-rate physical condition, but a great deal of care has been taken in selecting rarely seen, unique footage. The soundtrack is peppered with evocative blues, jazz, and pop music of the era, and, without exception, all of those provide reminiscences that are extremely articulate and memorable.

    This series is highly recommended for all libraries, either as the complete set or as individual episodes.

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