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Color Line and the Assembly LineManaging Race in the Ford Empire$
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Elizabeth D. Esch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285378

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285378.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

From the Melting Pot to the Boiling Pot

From the Melting Pot to the Boiling Pot

Fascism and the Factory-State at the River Rouge Plant in the 1920s

(p.51) Two From the Melting Pot to the Boiling Pot
Color Line and the Assembly Line

Elizabeth D. Esch

University of California Press

At Ford’s Rouge plant, the welfare activities that would earn Ford its reputation around the world were replaced by brutality, surveillance, and arbitrariness in the control of workers. The Rouge plant came fully on line as the new home of Model T production as European immigration to the United States was being curtailed by war and then nearly stopped through the immigration restrictions of 1924. The chapter situates managerial changes in this new reality. It also considers the built environment and management of the Rouge plant in relationship to Ford managers’ political interests in fascism and fascist political interest in Ford. Indeed, the Rouge plant functioned transnationally not as a model of racial integration but as an inspiration of Nazi factory management, a fascist-like factory state run by managers who, at times, professed strong affinities for fascism.

Keywords:   immigration restriction, fascism, factory-state, anti-Semitism

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