Robert Lacey

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Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City

By

Icon Books 416pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Reviewers have rightly compared this important and enjoyable book to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. But with Oscar season upon us, perhaps another comparison is called for – to James Cameron’s box-office-topping parable of American utopianism and arrogance, Avatar. Greg Grandin, an academic with a gift for sharp characterisation and storytelling, is positively cinematic as he describes the fate of Henry Ford’s attempt to build small-town America in the wilds of the Amazon basin. But he goes a step beyond Avatar. Fordlandia shows what happens after the Blue People have triumphed.

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