Sheldon Stern: Objects to Peggy Noonan's lionization of Henry Ford

Historians in the News

To the Editor,

Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan thinks Barack Obama should become"misty-eyed" about Henry Ford (Globe, 5/13). Does she know that Henry Ford's anti-Semitic publications, such as The International Jew, constituted one of the most most vicious, public hate campaigns in U.S. history? Does she know that Henry Ford refused to build aircraft engines for Britain but accepted Hitler's Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle in 1938? Does she know that Henry Ford's German subsidiary, Ford-Werke, built over 120,000 trucks for the German army during World War II, used Nazi forced labor, and earned substantial profits for Ford?

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Randll Reese Besch - 5/25/2008

Maybe Peggy Noonan did know and still liked Ford. Maybe she wishes the USA had been on the Axis side as it almost was in 1934.