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A Year Without Made in China: One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy
     

A Year Without Made in China: One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy

by Sara Bongiorni
 

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"The image of China as the beast of the Far East is well entrenched. But that doesn't necessarily mean the reality matches the popular perception. So, is China really the economic steamroller we think it is? Even more importantly, could we really live without Chinese goods? That is the question asked by Sara Bongiorni in her book, A Year Without 'Made in

Overview

"The image of China as the beast of the Far East is well entrenched. But that doesn't necessarily mean the reality matches the popular perception. So, is China really the economic steamroller we think it is? Even more importantly, could we really live without Chinese goods? That is the question asked by Sara Bongiorni in her book, A Year Without 'Made in China.'"
—From the Foreword by Joel L. Naroff, PhD
President, Naroff Economic Advisors, Inc.
Chief Economist, Commerce Bank

On January 1, 2005, Sara Bongiorni's family embarked on a yearlong boycott of Chinese products. They wanted to see for themselves what it would take, in will power and creativity, to live without the world's fastest growing economy—and whether it could be done at all.

A Year Without "Made in China" chronicles this fascinating and frustrating journey, and provides you with a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining account of life in a vast and slippery global economy of infinite complexity. Drawing on her years as an award-winning journalist, Bongiorni fills this book with engaging stories and anecdotes of her family's attempt to outrun China's reach, and does a remarkable job of taking a decidedly big-picture issue—China's emerging status in the global economy—and breaking it down to a personal level.

Bongiorni's real-world adventure is filled with small human dramas. You'll learn how her boycott of China meant scrambling to keep her rebellious husband in line and disappointing her young son in stand-offs over Chinese-made toys. You'll also discover how shopping trips for mundane items like birthday candles as well as high-end designer clothing became grinding ordeals, while broken appliances brought on mini crises.

A Year Without "Made in China" reveals how this manufacturing colossus is quietly changing our lives, but it also addresses the realities of globalization and, more importantly, where the world economy is heading. With low wages and government subsidies fueling China's rapid production of consumer goods, countries and companies around the world will soon face the inconvenient fact that they must rely on this economic giant in order to survive—and this book offers a rare glimpse of what that could be like.

See for yourself how the most populous nation on Earth influences almost every aspect of our daily lives and why this situation is both limiting and expanding our options when it comes to the products a majority of us take for granted.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Journalist Bongiorni, on a post-Christmas day mired deep in plastic toys and electronics equipment, makes up her mind to live for a year without buying any products made in China, a decision spurred less by notions of idealism or fair trade—though she does note troubling statistics on job loss and trade deficits—than simply "to see if it can be done." In this more personal vein, Bongiorni tells often funny, occasionally humiliating stories centering around her difficulty procuring sneakers, sunglasses, DVD players and toys for two young children and a skeptical husband. With little insight into global economics or China's manufacturing practices, readers may question the point of singling out China when cheap, sweatshop-produced products from other countries are fair game (though Bongiorni cheerfully admits the flaws in her project, she doesn't consider fixing them). Still, Bongiorni is a graceful, self-deprecating writer, and her comic adventures in self-imposed inconvenience cast an interesting sideways glance at the personal effects of globalism, even if it doesn't easily connect to the bigger picture.(July)  (Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2007)

"a wry look at the ingenuity it takes to shun the planet's fastest-growing economy." (Bloomberg News)

"The West's dependence on Chinese exports was neatly summed up"  (The Telegraph, Sunday 12th August 2007)

"What the year-long experiment did achieve, was to switch on Bongiorni as a consumer and make her alive to the complexities and shifting power of the international economy. (Financial Times, Saturday 25th August)

"...a fascinating and entertaining look at just how much of a challenge an average consumer faces...to avoid buying Chinese goods."  (Supply Management, Thursday 31st January 2008)

Susan L. Shirk
…more Erma Bombeck than Tom Friedman. Bongiorni struggles to explain why she imposed the private boycott on her family. She insists that it is not a political protest on behalf of U.S. workers and "nothing personal" against China. Her great-great-grandfather was Chinese, so she says she can't be guilty of anti-Chinese prejudice. In the end, Bongiorni wonderfully articulates the ambivalence that many Americans feel toward China's modernization: "When I see the words Made in China, part of me says, Good for China, while another part feels sentimental about something I've lost, but I'm not sure what exactly."
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470116135
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
06/29/2007
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.98(d)

Meet the Author

Sara Bongiorni is a writer and journalist who has worked at news-papers and business publications in California and Louisiana. Her "beat" has included international trade and its impact on local economies. Bongiorni has won local, state, and national awards for her articles, including a 2002 Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for her part in a series on the impact of out-migration on the Louisiana economy. Bongiorni graduated from the University of California, San Diego, and holds a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University.

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