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Blue jeans are as American as Jell-O and the Beach Boys. But freelance journalist Snyder exposes their backside and splits the seams to look into denim and its global significance. This book more or less parallels the themes of Pietra Rivoli's Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy, so the story is not an entirely new one. However, Snyder does an admirable job of putting a human face on the global genesis of blue jeans as a major product. She picks cotton alongside women workers in Azerbaijan, visits denim fabric designers in Italy, attends a textile chemical association conference in North Carolina, witnesses a May Day garment worker demonstration in Cambodia, and hobnobs with socially aware jeans designers in New York. Through these personal glimpses, the political, legal, and economic realities of globalization become apparent. Synder also explores the success of the organic cotton movement and highlights how Ali Hewson (wife of U2 frontman and activist Bono) and fashion designer Gregory Rogan have teamed up on the Edun line of jeans, which are made with strict attention to responsible environmental and labor practices. The story of these "traveling pants" is a good fit for public and academic library business collections.
—Carol J. Elsen