Machine Read: John Deere’s Company Vol. 2 — from Johnny Popper to the Iron Horses (1928-1982)

The most thorough, well-researched book about John Deere’s journey from an entrepreneurial blacksmith to a global leader returns with Vol. 2 of John Deere’s Company. In Vol. 2, author Wayne G. Borehl Jr. covers company history from 1928 to 1982 — essentially from the Model GP tractor to the 40 Series tractor. Just like in Vol. 1, this important book is complete with original illustrations as well as images new to the work that are selected from the Theo Brown Archives.

The resulting book follows both John Deere the man and the company that carried his legacy and principles into the 21st century. Broehl’s work is an engaging tale of how a young, penniless man ventured west to seek his fortune and became an American folk hero remembered as the man “who gave to the world the steel plow.”

Picking up right where Vol. 1 left off, Chapter 10 begins with a look at the company’s history circa the 1920s. The second volume of John Deere’s Company will complete the story covering Deere’s growth past World War II, and diving into how the company engineered itself to take over the agricultural tractor industry in 1963 and put an exclamation point on that dominance in the 1970s and 1980s (a lead they have never relinquished).

The award-winning author has taken several historical threads and woven them into a lively and absorbing historical account. John Deere’s Company – Volume 2 is set for release on November 14, 2023.

John Deere’s Company – Vol. 2 will be available from and anywhere books are sold. For interviews with the author, media review copies, images, excerpts for publication, or any additional information, contact Octane Press at

About the Author

Wayne G. Broehl, Jr., historian and faculty member of Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, is the author or co-author of eight books in the field of business history, management theory, and economic development. His special interest has been the corporation’s role in society, and he has studied and written extensively on the role corporate management teams play in the American business scene.

His award-winning book The Molly Maguires chronicled the saga of an Irish secret society in the Pennsylvania coal fields in the 19th century, as early unions interacted in traumatic ways with large-scale rail and coal companies. International Basic Economy Corporation, another of his works, was a management analysis of the Rockefeller development company in Latin America. It recorded the Rockefeller family’s effort to demonstrate social responsibility under private enterprise programs in the less developed world.