British travel writer Bennett informs and endears in his quixotic quest to trace the provenance of his underpants in order to learn something about the "commercial and industrial processes on which [his] easy existence depends." Despite his publisher's misgivings, the author travels to the outskirts of Shanghai, posing as an underwear buyer and scheming his way into factories and showrooms to piece together the (increasingly) mysterious origins of his underpants. He heads toward the cotton factories, where few Westerners venture and the population is ethnically closer to Afghan than Chinese, and sober accounts vie with marvelously silly escapades around Bangkok and rural Thailand in search of rubber trees (or more specifically, the origins of his elastic waistband). Bennett's education in the world of global commerce sparkles with humor and sharp observations on modern China's competing strains of enduring Confucianism, vestigial communism and the government's ruthless economic ambitions. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Where Underpants Come from: From Cotton Fields to Checkout Counters -- Travels Through the New China and into the New Global Economyby Joe Bennett
When Joe Bennett bought a six-pack of underwear in his local supermarket for five dollars, he wondered who on earth could be making any money, let alone profit, from the exchange. How many processes and middlemen are involved? Where and how is the underwear made? And who decides on the
One man's intrepid journey into Asia to discover why his underpants are so cheap
When Joe Bennett bought a six-pack of underwear in his local supermarket for five dollars, he wondered who on earth could be making any money, let alone profit, from the exchange. How many processes and middlemen are involved? Where and how is the underwear made? And who decides on the absorbent qualities of the gusset? Joe embarks on an odyssey to the new factory of the world, China, to trace his underwear back to their source. Along the way he discovers the extraordinarily balanced and intricate web of contacts and exchanges that makes global trade possible-and is rapidly elevating China to the status of world economic superpower. He also grapples with chopsticks, challenges his own prejudices, and marvels at the contrasts in one of the world's oldest but fastest changing societies. Funny, wise, and insightful, Where Underpants Come From is a wonderful and timely picture of the developed world's dependence on China to make all the bits and pieces of our lives-everything from toothbrushes to overhead projectors and artificial kidneys.
- The Overlook Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 17 Years
Meet the Author
Joe Bennett was educated at Brighton College and Cambridge University. After teaching English in a variety of countries he became a newspaper columnist and a writer of travel books. He lives in New Zealand.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book was an adventure and very humorous. I thought it also informs you about world trade and the economics that goes with it. Kept my interest and enlightened one about where the things we use come from.
The idea is compelling, and the facts are accurate. In my opinion, the details get in the way of the information. The author is a travel writer, and this book is more side trip than journey.