An unabashedly popularized, indubitably fascinating, and ultimately trashy biography of three generations of the powerful American family. As in their earlier The Kennedys (1984) and The Rockefellers (1986), Collier and Horowitz provide a sprawling, gossipy, behind-the-scenes history of an ""American dynasty."" From Henry (who built the Model T and founded the great automobile company) to Edsel (his morally superior but ineffective ""artistic"" son) to the recently deceased Henry II (who rebuilt the Ford Motor Company and finally helped his relatives escape it), the Fords are certainly an interesting family and deserve scrutiny for their undeniable impact on 20th-century American life. There is nostalgia in the memory of Henry Ford's famous $5/day wage during the Depression, or Edsel's doomed design for a European-style Continental; tragedy in the contemplation of the alcoholic response to Benson and Bill Ford to brother Henry II's dominant role in the company; titillation in the vision of Henry II's search for life's meaning in the voluptuous bodies of his three wives--but one wishes that the author offered something more intellectually satisfying than tired, amoral, TV-script formulas. In pursuit of sensational copy, their common-denominator presentation leaches the Fords of real individuality, substituting a lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous. Soap-opera biography, hypnotic but shallow.