This gripping novel covers the U.S. auto industry in the early 1970's. Author Arthur Hailey (1920-2004) provides several main characters, each with a separate story that occasionally connects with that of another main character. Those characters include corporate executives, middle managers, corrupt auto dealers, and the blue collar workers that sweated to build cars on the assembly line. Through these characters readers learn much about this fascinating industry. Hailey also covers side issues like pollution, auto safety, mob influence in the factories, racial discord and urban decline. This all takes place in and around the troubled city of Detroit, which was well into its tragic downslide by the 1970's.
Even today, one can learn much about the auto industry from this book. Hailey did his homework, although, like many industry leaders, he missed rising overseas competition and the coming oil shortages. Still, Haley captures the feel of this vital industry in nicely readable style.
(Reviewed by K. A. Goldberg)