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The page result is daunting. Moser's book begins with a coup: a photo of Sontag's mother Mildred with her own mother on the set of a lost silent film about the Armenian genocide. The question of photography, particularly war photography and what is real and what is not, became crucial to Sontag in her classic book On Photography and her final monograph Regarding the Pain of Others , and so it feels more than fitting that Sontag's mother Mildred left behind a photograph that could be taken either for the thing itself or for its facsimile. While Sontag was alive, Mildred was barely present in her mythology, but with the publication of Sontag's journals and now this biography, it is evident that Mildred was the crucial figure in her life.

Sontag was so obsessed with her mother that she projected Mildred's withholding image onto many of her female lovers. Sontag's father died when she was a child, and Mildred kept his death mysterious to her daughter, who was known in her youth as Sue Rosenblatt. At school, Sue was hit in the head with a rock and called a "dirty Jew," and she had to get stitches.

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This was an early warning to the woman who made herself into Susan Sontag that you are less likely to be attacked if you can't be labeled. Moser is critical of Sontag's refusal to identify as a female writer, as a Jewish writer, and as a gay writer, yet he details why she was leery of that. She knew she was gay as a teenager, but she forced herself to sleep with men and married the academic Philip Rieff when she was This marriage to Rieff, which consumed most of the s for Sontag and produced a child, her son David, is revealed as both better and far worse than has been previously described.

They had sex a lot in the beginning and talked constantly, but she began writing his book reviews and assembled his notes into a book on Freud that made his reputation, for which she received no credit. Forty years later, Rieff sent her a copy of the book she had written for him with an abject apology.

My Life And Work by Henry Ford

The asthmatic, self-loathing Sue Rosenblatt and the self-denying Mrs. Philip Rieff gave way in the Manhattan-of-thes to Susan Sontag, critic extraordinaire and intellectual exemplar—but she agonized over her insecurities in private to her journal. She loved cultural lists and rankings in her essays, yet she was against categorization of all kinds when it suited her personal and ideological purposes.

Writing about Sontag in this period, film critic Pauline Kael sarcastically commented, "I think in treating indiscriminateness as a value , she has become a real swinger. After "Notes on 'Camp'" set her up and her book Against Interpretation solidified her reputation, Sontag amused herself with boldface names, like Mike Nichols and Jackie Kennedy and Warren Beatty, with whom she had a month-long affair, which seems to have been practically compulsory for famous women of her generation.

Was this a kind of selling out, or a giving in to pleasure? Moser does not judge her on this score, but he makes clear that the gay artist Paul Thek, a close friend who heavily influenced her thinking, did not court the mainstream in this way, and he paid a price for it. Moser writes that Sontag became known as "the world's most authoritative blurber," and she was protected her whole writing life by her publisher Roger Straus, with whom she also had a brief affair in the beginning.

Straus paid her advances for books she never wrote and put her on his company's health insurance when she got sick with cancer in the late s, but it was glamorous Mildred who indirectly gave her daughter that final visual touch for her image. Sontag lost all her hair after chemotherapy, and when it grew back white, Mildred sent her to a hairdresser who dyed it black but left one strip of white in front.

Sontag and her son David ruled over the cutthroat Manhattan intelligentsia in this period, and they were highly conscious of that. During intermission at a theater, David was overheard asking his mother, "Who should we be snubbing? They saw themselves as royalty, or at least that's how they were treated. Sontag had trouble seeing other people as anything but extensions of herself, and this led to a very unhealthy relationship with David, who has handled the burden of being his mother's son fairly gracefully.

Moser is a tenacious biographer, keeping a tight hold on his narrative and reaching firm conclusions. He is very tough-minded, as Sontag herself was at her best, and his mind is like Sontag's in that he can make very sharp turns and land decisive blows. Moser takes apart one of her most notable essays of the s, "Fascinating Fascism," in which she herself took apart the cult of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, for lacking examples and citations, for being too vague, even though so much of it sounds right.

Sontag wrote some forbidding novels and short stories, and she started showing up as a fictional character in the novels of other writers. In Edmund White's Caracole , she is high-minded Mathilda, about whom he writes, "Mathilda appeared to waste a lot of time pondering the moral aspects of other people's actions. But she had her admirable moments.

Description of My Life and Work

A rigorous capitalist who wishes to do a service to his people, Henry Ford is indeed a man of many contradictions or so it seems to the casual observer! I had My Life and Work for quite some time. But being a lazy reader who is co I have read books by writers with fanciful imagination.

But being a lazy reader who is continually being pampered and indulged by fiction writers, I had difficulty in going through it as not even a single fly was killed or a zit was popped by the end of first few pages. Hence the reading of the aforementioned book was deferred until this reader was possessed of sane judgement. If Mr. I have inherently believed that only a strongly opinionated man could achieve what he set out to do. Experience has given him an insight into the workings of the world, and he has a firm set of notions about how it works and what is needed to be done to change the status quo.

Ford will shirk away from using that word as he considers it as an epitaph. The book is riddled with useful aphorisms. Sample this where he instructs the young to not be parsimonious: Young men ought to invest rather than save. They ought to invest in themselves to increase creative value; after they have taken themselves to the peak of usefulness, then will be time enough of laying aside, as a fixed policy, a substantial share of income.

This one tells them to have patience: …it is the fellow who can stand the gaff of routine and still keep himself alive and alert who finally gets into direction. It is not sensational brilliance that one seeks in business, but sound, substantial dependability. Big enterprises of necessity move slowly and cautiously.


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The young man with ambition ought to take a long look ahead and leave an ample margin of time for things to happen. To inspire and to instruct happens to be his motto! The single most important message that Mr. Ford wishes to convey through this book is to do a business, keeping service to the society as the basic objective, not the profit. Yet his idea of service is different. According to him, service means to offer useful products to his customers at affordable prices and to ensure the well-being of his employees.

He feels that philanthropy should try to make charity unnecessary, by making people self-reliant. The business of philanthropy is to ensure that it soon goes out of business!

To this end he established a training institute for the young and affordable hospital providing quality healthcare. He rigorously evaluated each type of job work that was being performed in his company, how much effort has to be put into a particular job, which faculties are to be used in executing that job, and identified areas where a blind or a crippled man can perform at his efficient best.


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  6. He was forever finding synergies between industry and farm. He advised his plant workers to go farm during the slump period, and provided non-seasonal employment to the farmers once the crops have been harvested. He constantly searched for ways and means to remove the drudgery out of farming with the use of machines. Though he intended to remove the drudgery from work, he firmly believed that there was no substitute for hard work. Stop being so goddamn sentimental and work hard! He hated lazy people.

    Yet at times, while reading the book, I felt exasperated. How can a person believe that business needs monopoly to counter bad capitalism?!

    Sample this argument: Whosoever does a thing best ought to be the one to do it. If a guy is producing good quality product at a cheaper rate, people would assuredly buy from him and the other guy would be forced to adapt or shut shop. Granted, he sounds convincing, when he argues like this Progress comes from a generous form of rivalry.

    Bad competition is personal. It works for the aggrandizement of some individual or group. It is a sort of warfare. It is wholly selfish. That is to say, its motive is not pride in a product, nor a desire to excel in service, nor a wholesome ambition to approach to scientific methods of production. There is nothing like a GOOD monopoly. The other thing which confuses me is his stand on financing. I can even understand his aversion for evil, manipulative bankers, but he is against paying dividends to the stockholders!

    Though he has specifically mentioned that financing is perfectly valid when one goes for expansion, yet I find it difficult to digest that he refuses to pay dividends to the people who have invested in his company but expects them not to be driven by the money-aspect! Why would any person, invest in any company, if not to earn money? He is also anti-immigration and anti-globalization. Yet indeed he was a great man. And this is a great book. I am indeed in awe with the person who brought about a dramatic change in society which initially thought that motor-vehicles were a luxury only within purview of the rich.

    He was a pioneer and a hard working man, an inventive genius with managerial acumen. Not good. Only upto page no 96 his biography exists that too also on very broad level without much details of struggle and challenges. Except points which were really the meat in this whole book everything is rushed up.

    Rest of the book is his views of various things like money, Soceity, people, poverty etc. You will be able to find more details about his achievements, personal and professional life on google in 5 mins rather than inves Not good. You will be able to find more details about his achievements, personal and professional life on google in 5 mins rather than investing time in reading this book of pages.

    Fords afterward journey of Henry Ford from being worlds 6th richest man to the situation where in US government had to intervene financially to help Ford from becoming bankrupt is something which is obviously not covered as this was written around decades earlier.

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    Not at all recommend. Oct 21, Marek rated it it was amazing. When you realized that it was published on and rules has still a lot of sense for today business it is much bigger fun in reading. Jul 14, Kannan Ekanath rated it really liked it. This is one of the best books I have ever read. Henry Ford has an undying passion, urge to simplify things and is obsessed with quality, minimalism and ethics, the kind of qualities you look for in a role model.