Henry Fordʹs war on Jews and the legal battle against hate speech /
Victoria Saker Woeste.
Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2012.
xv, 408 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0804772347 (Cloth), 9780804772341 (Cloth)
More Details
Stanford : Stanford University Press, 2012.
0804772347 (Cloth)
9780804772341 (Cloth)
contents note
Fordʹs megaphone -- Marshall for the defense -- Taking it to the streets -- The outsider -- The other war -- The lawsuit -- Trial and mistrial -- Apology, retractions, and recriminations -- Enforcement without law.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Victoria Saker Woeste is Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago and has held teaching appointments at Indiana University-Indianapolis, Northwestern University, and Amherst College. Her first book, The Farmer's Benevolent Trust, was awarded the Law and Society Association's J. Willard Hurst Prize.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-01-01:
At the heart of this fine study are the efforts to silence Henry Ford's virulent anti-Semitism. Woeste (American Bar Foundation) focuses on the 1927 libel trial in which lawyer and agricultural organizer Aaron Sapiro sued Ford for defamation. Ford and others feared agricultural cooperatives as both un-American and opening the door for communism. The fact that a Jew promoted such efforts only fueled Ford's anger. Woeste explores the role of Louis Marshall, famed lawyer and Jewish advocate of civil rights, in bringing a positive end to this conflict. When the litigation ended in mistrial, Marshall stepped in with hopes of calming the waters by promoting reconciliation between Ford and Sapiro and, by extension, Ford and the Jews. Woeste argues that Marshall did more harm than good by his secret authorship of Ford's "apology." Anxious to prove that American Jews readily assimilated and remained reasonable in their expectations, Marshall's wording let Ford escape with an insincere statement whose promises for reform remained unenforceable. Despite claims of remorse for the harm done via The Dearborn Independent, Ford, unhampered by sincerity or legal constraints, quietly continued his vituperation. In the wake of the trial, anti-Semites continued hate speech, bolstered by Ford's implicit consent. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty. J. Kleiman University of Wisconsin Colleges
Review Quotes
"Victoria Saker Woeste gives us great courtroom drama and captures an important historical moment. This will be the definitive work on Henry Ford and his confrontation by American Jews. Woeste not only presents and explains what was at stake on the basis of significant new evidence, she brings to her analysis the legal expertise to exploit a whole body of secondary literature that most historians are simply unable to evaluate."--Richard S. Levy, University of Illinois at Chicago
"It is not often that I read a book that is as important, well-researched, and well-written as Henry Ford's War. This volume, based upon primary sources that have for the most part never been examined before, brilliantly recreates the legal struggle against Ford's Dearborn Independentand underscores its larger significance. Anyone interested in Henry Ford, in antisemitism, or in legal battles against hate speech will want to read this book."--Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Henry Ford is remembered in American lore as the ultimate entrepeneur - the man who invented assembly-line manufacturing and made automobiles affordable. This book explores the other side of Ford's career which included publishing antisemitic propaganda.
Main Description
Henry Ford is remembered in American lore as the ultimate entrepreneur--the man who invented assembly-line manufacturing and made automobiles affordable. Largely forgotten is his side career as a publisher of antisemitic propaganda. This is the story of Ford's ownership of the Dearborn Independent, his involvement in the defamatory articles it ran, and the two Jewish lawyers, Aaron Sapiro and Louis Marshall, who each tried to stop Ford's war. In 1927, the case of Sapiro v. Fordtransfixed the nation. In order to end the embarrassing litigation, Ford apologized for the one thing he would never have lost on in court: the offense of hate speech. Using never-before-discovered evidence from archives and private family collections, this study reveals the depth of Ford's involvement in every aspect of this case and explains why Jewish civil rights lawyers and religious leaders were deeply divided over how to handle Ford.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Parties and Players
Mr. Ford Surveys the Wreckagep. 13
Ford's Megaphonep. 19
Marshall for the Defensep. 53
Taking It to the Streetsp. 89
The Outsiderp. 119
The Other Warp. 143
Litigants and Losers
The Lawsuitp. 179
Trial and Mistrialp. 214
Apology, Retractions, and Recriminationsp. 261
Enforcement Without Lawp. 298
Conclusionp. 329
List of Abbreviations Used in the Notesp. 335
Notesp. 339
Indexp. 397
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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