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Steven Watts is a historian and writer who has charted the sweeping evolution of American culture in a number of highly-praised books. His series of biographies of major figures--Henry Ford, Dale Carnegie, Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner--has explored the shaping of a modern value-system devoted to consumerism, self-fulfillment, leisure, and personality. Two earlier books on the Early Republic era examined the shift from an older society of republican virtue to a 19th-century Victorian era devoted to self-control, individual character, and the self-made man. Watts' books have led to involvement in a number of media projects, including several films for PBS, the History Channel, and documentary venues in Germany and Brazil. He also has appeared in a variety of programs on CBS, NBC, CNBC, NPR, Fox, Fox News, C-Span, Bloomberg News, MSNBC, BBC, and Irish National Radio. He is currently a professor of history at the University of Missouri.
"The implicit claim of Watts's admirable book is almost inarguable-that it's impossible to understand 20th-century America without knowing the story of Henry Ford." -The New York Times "Ford has had many biographers. . . . None, however, comes close to Steven Watts. . . . He brilliantly reveals the nature of Ford's genius." -Chicago Tribune "Steven Watts attempts the most integrated understanding to date of Ford's enormous influence and varied appeal. . . . The fascinating result may change the way Henry Ford is remembered." -San Francisco Chronicle