[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 17, 1990

Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West

Author Affiliations

Abilene (Tex) Christian University

Abilene (Tex) Christian University


by Mark S. Foster, 358 pp, with illus, $29.95, ISBN 0-292-73045-5, Austin, University of Texas at Austin, 1989.

JAMA. 1990;264(15):2013-2014. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450150115043

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The career of Henry J. Kaiser combines most of the virtues extolled by American industrial leadership of the generation in which he was born. Business society of the 1880s glorified such qualities as individualism, initiative, and perseverance while often pursuing anticompetitive practices that suppressed these virtues. From the time Kaiser moved toward prominence in the industrial world until his death a half century later, his life swirled in conflict with forces seeking to undermine the ethics he upheld.

Mark S. Foster presents a thorough account of the incredible struggles of this indomitable industrialist whose empire rose from small beginnings to affect the economic life of several continents. He traces Kaiser's venture into business to his connection with a small photography shop at Lake Placid, NY, in 1901, and chronicles the principal events in his "nomadic" and unspectacular life for several years thereafter. Not until Kaiser tied his future to the