Month: August 2011

Jordan, Part 2: Ned Jordan and his Mother Kate

Jordan, Part 2: Ned Jordan and his Mother Kate

Con­tin­ued from Part 1

Edward S. Jor­dan was born in 1882, the only boy in a fam­i­ly of six, in the lum­ber town of Mer­rill, Wis­con­sin: talk­a­tive, brash, a lit­tle bit rude, with heaps of deter­mi­na­tion but lit­tle mon­ey. He wore white spats and bright ties and well-tai­lored suits, but he wasn’t a huck­ster. He had style, like the cars he built and the words he wrote.

Work­ing his way through the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin as a news­pa­per reporter, Jor­dan dis­cov­ered a tal­ent for words. His sales and adver­tis­ing know-how was learned with the help of two peo­ple: his moth­er and John Hen­ry Patterson.…

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Jordan, Part 1: The Greatest Car Ad in History

Jordan, Part 1: The Greatest Car Ad in History

The great­est adver­tise­ment in the his­to­ry of the auto­mo­bile, “Some­where West of Laramie,” was writ­ten for a con­ven­tion­al car dur­ing a dull era and a duller econ­o­my, by a cocky lit­tle 40-year-old red­head, Edward S. Jor­dan.

In con­tem­po­rary jar­gon the Jor­dan was “assem­bled”: “an extreme­ly neat machine, the prin­ci­pal com­po­nents of which are con­struct­ed by spe­cial­ists,” as an Eng­lish mag­a­zine kind­ly put it. “We nev­er were auto­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers,” Jor­dan admit­ted in a 1945 mono­graph, The Inside Sto­ry of Adam and Eve

We were pio­neers of a new tech­nique in assem­bly pro­duc­tion, cus­tom style sales and adver­tis­ing.…

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Churchill’s Rule of Criticism

Churchill’s Rule of Criticism

In the Wall Street Jour­nal let­ters col­umn, 2 August 2011, under the head­ing, “Once again, Churchill sets a high stan­dard,” we read that Churchill “had a rule of nev­er crit­i­ciz­ing a pol­i­cy after the event unless he had giv­en his opin­ion before.” Did he real­ly have such a rule? —M.M., Cleveland

The Journal’s cor­re­spon­dent can say that on good authority.

In the third para­graph of his pref­ace to The World Cri­sis, vol. 1 (1923), Churchill writes: “I have made or implied no crit­i­cism of any deci­sion of action tak­en or neglect­ed by oth­ers, unless I can prove that I had expressed the same opin­ion in writ­ing before the event.” (Ital­ics his.)…

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