S01 E04

Square Dancing in the Amazon

During his life, Henry Ford was one of the wealthiest men in the world. He had the power and the capital to carry out epically proportioned experiments of his own making.

In 1928, he established Fordlandia. Deep in the Amazon jungle, Ford aimed to tame the South American jungle and extract its resources. Not only that, Ford also wanted to mold the jungle’s inhabitants.

“Part of the arrogance and part of the confidence was that Ford was going to bring not just industrial production but a kind of modern way of living and consuming and being that was completely mismatched to the reality on the ground,” said Dr. Greg Grandin, Fordlandia historian.

On this episode, we chronicle Ford’s utopian dream with the help of historian and author Greg Grandin, Henry Ford museum archivist, Matt Anderson, and Fordlandia resident and tour guide, Ana Rita Souza.