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Publisher's Summary

Pietra Rivoli is an economics professor at Georgetown University, where the question "Who made your T-shirt?" set her on a quest. On her journey she found that globalization is just as much about history and politics as it is about economics.
©2005 Pietra Rivoli; (P)2007 Recorded Books,LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    41
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    25
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

A great, anecdote-rich layman's guide to trade

This is a great introduction to international trade for the layman, and a nice reminder of its intricacies even for an economist like myself. I would recommend it both to those people who have glued themselves with fervent religiosity to the idealization of free trade (as have many economists) and also to those sophomoric protestors who think that products sold at Wal-Mart (and many other places) and made in the Third World are objects produced by slaves without any free will and exploited by their home governments.

The real world is, as always, so much more complicated. And so much more interesting. Rivoli takes the example of t-shirt production, from cotton (in Texas) to fabric manufacture & basic t-shirt assembly (in China) to import & customization (back in the US) to the use of discarded (but still intact) t-shirts from the US (back to the Third World). This illustration, while not a perfect representation of every product and every trade war, does very well in showing the complexities to both extremes I mentioned above, and also lifting the scales from the eyes of people without fervent beliefs, but tending to one side or the other (free trade or exploitation).

The book is well-narrated. And the book is comprehensive, insofar as its vertical following of cotton plants to discarded t-shirts is concerned. I did find the author rambled a bit in sections, annoying, which is the only reason I knocked a star off from the "5." I do think this rambling will make it more enjoyable, less dense, for the lay reader than for the professional though.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Great book, good narrator, poorly edited narration

Would you listen to Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy again? Why?

No, it seemed like no one really paid attention to editing the narration, and there were many times when you could hear the narrator stop, take a drink and swallow. This may seem minor, but when you are listening to it for eight hours, it becomes distracting and a little gross.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There were no real characters - only people involved in a chain of global trade.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Eliza Foss?

Only if I knew that someone had actually edited out all of the swallowing.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I listened to it for a class. It was interesting, but not interesting enough to listen to for eight hours straight.

Any additional comments?

The story was fascinating, and I think the message in this book is one that we all need to hear as we learn to work within an ever-changing global economy. The author brought up points that I'd never thought about and delivered them in a way the encouraged further exploration and thought. She did a great job of telling the story in a way that showed everyone's point of view, and she came across as non-judgmental and knowledgeable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Admirable book, beautifully narrated

Campus protest against sweatshop labor sends intl business professor around the world, investigating textiles/t-shirts' path from cotton plants to yarn to fabric to finished goods to its second hand life. Rich context--looks at history, influence of laws and politics. You'll learn lots about cotton growing, textile industry, ways markets affected by non-market forces. SUPERB narration. Delightful voice, clear and easy to listen to, with just the right amount of inflection/acting. Pronounces Chinese words right, so unlike most "professional" narration.

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  • Story

5 Stars

Needs to be updated with most recent version, but performance message are on point. 5 stars

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  • Story
  • Catherine
  • Brooklyn, NY United States
  • 02-17-15

This Economist Knows How to Tell a Great Story

Rivoli does a great job of translating global economics into a great story. One that will surprise you and leave you with a much more complex understanding. My one concern: Though the basic economic story still holds up, the material covered is more than ten years old and some of the markets she desrcibes are pretty fluid. How about offering a way for readers to get access to her second edition and updated material, either via audible or kindle?