A Noble Function:
How U-Haul Moved America
by Luke Krueger
May 2007 | $24.95 | Hardcover | ISBN: 978-1-56980-329-5
U.S. history books talk of a great American Diaspora post-World War II. None of these books ever talk about how families were able to pack up and move their things. Prior to U-Haul, moving across country was available only to those who could afford moving services. This was where Sam and Anna Mary Shoen found themselves: trying to rent a trailer in San Diego to get to Portland with their new family. They couldn't find one, but on the drive to Portland, they came up with the idea for U-Haul. A Noble Function is the product of more than a year of research and unprecedented access to the U-Haul archives. Nearly thirty interviews were conducted with key people who knew Sam and Anna Mary Shoen or who were innovators in the industry. The book focuses on the how and why of the company's meteoric rise through the '50s and '60s and how U-Haul became the leader in the do-it-yourself moving industry. And remarkably, the Shoens did it without ever accruing any debt, establishing a nationwide network of dealers and loyal customers with their acute attention to customer service.