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With an updated Afterword by the author
This is the epic saga of the American automobile industry’s rise and demise, a compelling story of hubris, missed opportunities, and self-inflicted wounds that culminates with the president of the United States ushering two of Detroit’s Big Three car companies—once proud symbols of prosperity—through bankruptcy. With unprecedented access, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Ingrassia takes us from factory floors to small-town dealerships to Detroit’s boardrooms to the White House. Ingrassia answers the big questions: Was Detroit’s self-destruction inevitable? What were the key turning points? Why did Japanese automakers manage American workers better than the American companies themselves did? Complete with a new Afterword providing fresh insights into the continuing upheaval in the auto industry—the travails of Toyota, the revolving-door management and IPO at General Motors, the unexpected progress at Chrysler, and the Obama administration’s stake in Detroit’s recovery—Crash Course addresses a critical question: America bailed out GM, but who will bail out America?
“A fascinating inside look at how ego and hubris destroyed an industry . . . a gripping and riveting must-read.”—James B. Stewart, author of Den of Thieves and Disneywar
“Crash Course has the feel of a definitive account. . . . It’s hard to imagine anyone better than Paul Ingrassia to ‘ride shotgun’ on a journey through the sometimes triumphant, often turbulent, history of U.S. automaking. . . . [A] wealth of amusing, astonishing and enlightening nuggets.”—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“In order to understand just how much of a mess it was—not to mention how it got that way and how, if at all, it can be cleaned up—you really need to read Crash Course.”—The Washington Post
“Ingrassia tells Detroit’s story with economy, vigour and restrained fury.”—The Economist
“A delightful mix of history and first-person reporting . . . Employing superb storytelling skills, Ingrassia explains in head-shaking detail the elements of a wholly avoidable collision.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)