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May 01, 1964 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-05-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Fords' Philanthropies, Henry Ford's Peculiarities Described in WSU Book

Another book on the Ford dyn-
asty is being issued today by the
Wayne State University Press.
"From These Beginnings—The
Early Philanthropies of Henry and
Edsel Ford, 1911-1936," by Prof.
William Greenleaf of the Univer-
sity of New Hampshire traces the
manner in which the Fords assited
charitable causes prior to the
establishment of the Ford Foun-
dation.
Likening Henry Ford to Carnegie
and Rockefeller, the author states

About 'John Goldfarb
Please Come Home V

By HERBERT LUFT

(Copyright, 1964, JTA, Inc.)

HOLLYWOOD—Producer Steve
Parker. husband of film star Shir-
ley MacLaine, a Jewish boy born
in Nuremberg, Germany who came
with his parents to the U.S. at the
age of 4, tells me of his latest
movie, "John Goldfarb, Please
Come Home!" a satire on the anti-
Semitic tendencies among the feu-
dal Arab countries of the Near
East.
Parker says the idea for the
story was born when author Wil-
liam Peter Blatty, himself of Leba-
nese descent, listened to a news-
cast about Francis Gary Powers'
U-2 crash in Russia. Blatty won-
dered what would happen if the
pilot were Jewish and had landed
in an oil-rich kingdom of Arabia.
This wild idea became a novel
called "John Goldfarb, Please
Come Home."
Shirley MacLaine was so en-
tranced with the book that she
sent a copy to her husband who,
among other things, produces stage
shows in Japan. Parker relays to
me now an amusing vignette from
the forthcoming film. When John
Goldfarb crash-lands in the mythi-
cal kingdom of Fawzia, he tells
the hostile Grand Mufti that he is
Jewish. Whereupon the other one
snaps back, threateningly, "Jewish?
Don't do it again!"
Goldfarb is portrayed in the
movie by six-foot-one, blue-eyed
ruggedly handsome actor Rich-
ard Crenna about whom the one-
eyed despotic King Fawz (Peter
Ustinov) comments that he
doesn't look Jewish. Goldfarb
is not only an ace pilot but also
an All American halfback who
organizes the king's football
team, wins his girl (Shirley Mac-
Laine), and schemes his way
back to freedom.
The motion picture, "John Gold-
farb, Please Come Home," which
has a $4.5-million budget, is being
directed at 20th Century - Fox by
British-born J. Lee Thompson who
won an Oscar nomination for
"Guns of Navarone" three years
ago.
The story is a satire on corrup-
tion and mismanagement in the
backward countries of the Arab-
ian peninsula, which are supported
by the Western bloc because of
common oil interests, and are
lured by the Iron Curtain powers
because they constitute an uncom-
mitted multitude of potential com-
munists. The movie will confirm
that our allies among the feudal
Arabic nations are neither trust-
worthy nor very brilliant.
The madcap comedy features
on the U.S. State Department side
such actors as Jerome Cowan,
Harry Morgan, Jim Backus and
Fred Clark; and such "genuine"
Moslems as Wilfrid Hyde White,
Leon Askin and Telly Savalas, the
latter one taking over the role of
Mahmoud, roundup man for Fawz'
harem, from Peter Lorre, who died
only a week before the picture
went before the cameras.

Pictured Rocks
The Pictured Rocks, near Mu-
nising, offer special appeal for art-
ists, camera fans and other vaca-
tioners, according to the Michigan
Tourist Council. Ranging in height
from 50 to 200 feet, this rock for-
mation stretches nearly 30 miles
along Lake Superior.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, May 1, 1964

12

that he assisted many ventures
even though he did not, like the
other notable men of wealth, ap-
prove of organized charities. The
author states:

Ford's limited access to mature and
imaginative counsel militated against
his establishment of a large corporate
philanthropy; were this now so, there
still would have been other obstacles,
notably Ford's deep-seated feeling
against the refinements of adminis-
trative organization. That in itself
would have foredoomed the creation
of a massive philanthropic agency.
Unlike Edsel Ford, who was logical,
deliberate, and open-minded in his
approach, and a master of the ad-
ministrative art, Henry Ford had a
glacial indifference even to the most
modest requirements of institutional
organization and procedures. He seldom
read a letter. Almost never did he
personally answer business corres-
pondence. In one year, Ford confessed
to a visitor, he wrote only ten letters—
all of them to children. He was rarely
at his desk; indeed, for long periods
he did not maintain an office. With
no regular schedule of any kind, he
came and went as he pleased; and in
setting the tasks of a single day, he
frequently depended upon his "hunch-
es," obeying them as the authoritative
promptings of an inward voice. His
unpredictable behavior became a by-
word in the Ford company. His auto-

Y our

80/7.

cratic and individualistic temper would
have made him alien to the needs of
a philanthropic foundation whose life
is rooted in the collaborative recep-
tion, scrutiny, and discussion of ideas.
The examples of his sudden incompre-
hensible reversal of pledges to phil-
anthropic and educational organiza-
tions show that he was temperment-
ally unfit to play any leading part in
administering a foUndation. Ford said
he had "never found anyone he could
agree with;" and as for committee
meetings and discussions, Ford
thought them a waste of time aild
energy. "Conferences would kill any
man," he declared. One of his asso-
ciates recalls that more than once
Ford told him "the only time it was
worth 1%thile having a committee or
board, was when the chairman or
president of the committee was a good
man and the other members could
let him run it."

Dr. Greenleaf declares that "the
son was different from the father."
He adds: "Had Edsel Ford held
actual rather than nominal power
in the direction of the Ford en-
terprises, it is possible that the
early Ford philanthropies might
have attained a wider reach. Edsel
had an intellectual development,
understanding, and sympathy far
exceeding that of his father."
There is reference in this vol-

and 2)au glite•

ume to Henry Ford's pacifism.
Regrettably, that is not developed
and there is nothing in the book
about the Ford Peace Ship, Rosika
Schwimmer, and the anti-Semitism
of the automobile magnate that
developed from the experience.
But these omissions are under-
standable, since the book is de-
voted to a discussion of the philan-
thropies of the Fords. This com-
ment is made merely because
there is reference to Ford's peace
hopes.

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