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Download Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster, by Paul Ingrassia Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (175 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Ingrassia Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Crash Course is the epic saga of the American automobile industry’s rise and demise, a compelling story of hubris, denial, 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. The cost to American taxpayers topped $100 billion—enough to buy every car and truck sold in America in the first half of 2009. With unprecedented access, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Ingrassia takes us from factory floors, to small-town dealerships, to Detroit’s boardrooms to the inner sanctums of the White House. He reveals why President Barack Obama personally decided to save Chrysler when many of his advisers opposed the idea. Ingrassia provides the dramatic story behind Obama’s dismissal of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner and the angry reaction from GM’s board—the same people who had watched idly while the company plunged into penury.

In Crash Course, 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? Ingrassia also describes dysfunctional corporate cultures (even as GM’s market share plunged, the company continued business as usual) and Detroit’s perverse system of “inverse layoffs” (which allowed union members to invoke seniority to avoid work). Along the way we meet Detroit’s frustrated reformers and witness the wrenching decisions that Ford executives had to make to avoid GM’s fate.

Informed by Ingrassia’s twenty-five years of experience covering the auto industry for the Wall Street Journal, and showing an appreciation for Detroit’s profound influence on our country’s society and culture, Crash Course is a uniquely American and deeply instructive story, one not to be missed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rich with insider anecdote, peopled with unforgettable—and unforgivable—characters, Crash Course explains not just what happened to America’s cars, but to its very soul.”

    Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March

  • “Ingrassia skillfully details the many enormous management failures of the Big Three.”

    New York Times

  • “The story that Mr. Ingrassia tells is concise, enthralling, and ultimately heartbreaking.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In order to understand just how much of a mess [the American auto business] was—not to mention how it got that way and how, if at all, it can be cleaned up—you really need to [listen to] Crash Course."

    Washington Post

  • “Employing superb storytelling skills, Ingrassia explains in head-shaking detail the elements of a wholly avoidable collision.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jocelyn | 2/16/2014

    " Lots of information on the history about the "Big 3" and how they ended up in their respective financial woes. The political acrobatics with the UAW and internal politics within the Detroit 3 are something else. I knew they were bad but cheezopizza. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amanda Bennett | 2/9/2014

    " great book for detroit-o-philes! cars and the car industry's role in our world.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Thomas | 1/19/2014

    " Easy, satisfying coverage of an all-too familiar topic. Well narrated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by J | 1/15/2014

    " A Thirty-Thousand foot look from N.Y. "

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About the Author

Paul Ingrassia, the former Detroit bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, speaks with authority and confidence about the automotive industry. In 1993 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the management crisis and boardroom revolt at General Motors. Ingrassia has chronicled the car industry’s successes and epic failures over the past twenty-five years, and as a former executive of Dow Jones, he is one of few authors who has been trained as a journalist and has direct experience in running a business. His is in demand on many media programs, including NPR’s Morning Edition and The Diane Rehm Show; CNBC’s Squawk Box; ABC World News with Charles Gibson; and Good Morning America.