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Henry Ford and Fordlandia

Fordlandia : the rise and fall of Henry Ford's forgotten jungle city by Greg Grandin documents Henry Ford's 1927 purchase of a Connecticut-sized plot of land in Brazil for the purpose of growing rubber. The South American leaf blight and the advent of synthetic rubbers forced the company to abandon Fordlandia in 1945, long after Ford had poured millions of dollars and years of strenuous effort into the project. Grandin argues that this was more than an economic venture. It was a missionary application of Ford-style capitalism--high wages, humane benefits, moral improvement to a backward land.