Bullets and Frescoes
Edsel resented me for being treated like Mr. Ford's son…. One time Mr.
Ford asked me if I was afraid of Edsel. I told him I'm not afraid of him.
I can lick him. But I've got principle. “Don't start that principle stuff again,”
Mr. Ford said.
With a management style better suited to the back alley than the boardroom, Harry Bennett's star climbed in a trajectory directly paralleling the rise of labor militancy. As the rest of the country followed Detroit's miserable march into the abyss, a workers' revolution, akin to those that had toppled governments in Russia and Europe, was in the air. Soapbox radicals preached it, the chronically laid-off discussed it, and executives hunkered inside boardrooms feared it.
Dave Moore's nine-member family shared four pairs of shoes. Whoever was working or looking for work that day got priority for the valued footwear. Like many other dispossessed Detroiters, Moore was drawn to the Unemployed Councils. Its members, many of whom were Communists, ran soup kitchens, staged rallies, and mobilized neighbors when landlords evicted the unemployed from their homes. “One day they were setting a family out in my block,” recalled Moore. “And I just got together with a bunch of guys and said, 'Let's put it back in.' We chased hell out of the bailiff across the old Brewster playground and we put the furniture back in.”