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American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company Paperback – 15 February 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,038 ratings

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"A standout...brimming with smart observations and fresh insights into Ford's success." -Alex Taylor, Fortune

"Fly-on-the-wall accounts of Mulally negotiating deals and Ford overcoming challenges from the inside and outside...A paean to the ingenuity, grit and optimism that once defined American industry and to capitalism played with government on the sidelines."

"A compelling narrative that reads more like a thriller than a business book."
-New York Times

"A must-read."
-Huffington Post

"A fascinating read for anyone who follows the car industry."
-Financial Times

"A Detroit News journalist's in-the-room account of the resurrection of America's most storied car company...With colorful anecdotes, sharp character sketches, telling details and a firm understanding of the industry, Hoffman fleshes out every aspect of this tale, reminding us of the hard work, tension, and high-stakes drama that preceded the successful result." --Kirkus

"Bryce Hoffman has done a stellar job of capturing the Ford story--and more to the point showing us how Mulally did it. American Icon is a story of leadership that offers valuable lessons for organizations of all sizes." --Lee Iacocca

"Bryce G. Hoffman's American Icon brilliantly recounts the Lazarus-like resurgence of the Ford Motor Company under the bold and inspiring leadership of CEO Alan Mulally. Hoffman, one of America's best auto industry reporters, has written a timely book about the relevance of Ford that serves as a larger metaphor for America at large. Highly recommend!" --Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University, and author of Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress

"Bryce Hoffman has written a riveting tome based on deep insider information about the resurrection of the Ford Motor Company from a near death experience and the establishment of a business model that promises to be a prototype for large organizations of all types. It features the transformation from a top-down style of leadership to that of a coach led by CEO Alan Mulally whose focus is the team, the team, the team." --David E. Cole, chairman emeritus, Center for Automotive Research

"From the precipitous demise of an American icon through decades of infighting and self-destructive management to a turnaround not only financial but also in terms of forging the foundation of a new, healthy culture, this book reads like an un-put-downable novel. Bryce Hoffman's amazing inside access tells the story of how Alan Mullally built on Henry Ford's own management principles--which quickly got lost in the company--and created one company, with one purpose and a passion for product and customers. A great story." --Jeffrey Liker, professor, University of Michigan, and author of The Toyota Way

"Amazing. I would give Alan Mulally twelve D's for his work at Ford, for Discipline, Data, Daring, Determination, Design, Direction, Decisiveness, Delivery, Doubt-Free, Debt Free, Downsizing, and of course, Dearborn. I thought I was disciplined until I read how Mulally worked. Bryce is a gifted writer, and American Icon is both educational and entertaining. Most telling of all--I learned from reading this book." --Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort, and author of Creating Magic

"After decades of stories about the failure of America's traditional industries to meet world competition, it is heartening to encounter a signal success. But Bryce Hoffman's rendering of how Alan Mulally reversed the fortunes of Ford Motor is more than heartening; it is riveting. Almost certainly one of the best business books of the year." --H. W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of Traitor to His Class and The First American

"This superbly reported book is not just about cars. It is an authoritative and inspiring account of leadership, management, corporate culture, and the prospects for American manufacturing." --John Taylor, author of Storming the Magic Kingdom

About the Author

BRYCE G. HOFFMAN is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began cov-ering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. That beat gave him a front-row seat for many of the events chronicled in American Icon. Hoffman has been honored by the Society of American Business Edi-tors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world's foremost authorities on the automaker. He lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ CROWN; 1st edition (15 February 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307886069
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307886064
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.18 x 2.26 x 20.24 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 1,038 ratings

About the author

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BRYCE G. HOFFMAN is a bestselling author, speaker, and unconsultant who believes that individuals have the power to transform companies and cultures through great leadership and applied critical thinking.

He is the author of American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company, which was named one of the “Best Business Books” by Bloomberg and Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything, which bestselling business author Jon Gordon called “further proof that Bryce Hoffman is one of the great business writers and thinkers of our time.” These books have become manuals for leaders who want to learn how to create winning cultures, navigate complexity, and make better decisions faster in today’s rapidly changing world.

Red teaming is a system developed by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies to make critical and contrarian thinking part of an organization’s strategic planning process. In 2015, Bryce became the first – and only – civilian to graduate from the U.S. Army’s Red Team Leader Program at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

As president of Red Team Thinking, Bryce now teaches individuals and organizations around the world around the world how to use this same approach to strengthen their plans, stress-test their strategies, identify missed opportunities, and expose hidden threats in order to help them become one of the disruptors, rather than one of the disrupted. He also coaches senior executives and teaches companies how to use the same management system Alan Mulally used to save Ford and Boeing to drive accountability, foster teamwork, and achieve their strategic goals.

Bryce was named one of the “Top 100 Leadership Speakers” by Inc. magazine. He has spent much of the past decade sharing his inspiring stories and leadership secrets with audiences across the globe. During that time, Bryce has spoken to scores of conferences, companies, trade associations, and government agencies from San Francisco to Shanghai, New York to New Orleans, and London to Las Vegas.

In 2021, Bryce launched The Thinking Leader podcast, featuring conversations with business and thought leaders, cognitive scientists, military officers, and other bestselling authors who share his desire to help people think more deeply and lead more effectively.

Bryce spent twenty-two years as a newspaper reporter, covering the rise of the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and the fall of the automobile industry in Detroit. His work received numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Associated Press, and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He was also a three-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious honor in business journalism.

Bryce left journalism in 2014, but he continues to write a column on leadership and business culture for In addition, he appears regularly on television and radio shows in the United States and around the world, including the BBC, NPR, CNN, FOX, PBS, CBS, CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, the CBC, RTÉ, Radio New Zealand, al Jazeera, Deutschlandradio and other local, national, and international networks.

A native of California, Bryce majored in Anthropology and Philosophy at San Francisco State University and later completed a fellowship in economics at the California State University in Hayward. He is now a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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5.0 out of 5 stars an exciting narative of an epic buiness turn around
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 May 2012
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fair Account
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 November 2012
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING story full of James Bond and Mission Impossible type of stuff.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2015
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4.0 out of 5 stars Typically American
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 January 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 April 2018
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