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

ISBN: 978-0-470-11613-5
256 pages
June 2007
A Year Without "Made in China": One Family


A Year Without "Made in China" provides you with a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining account of how the most populous nation on Earth influences almost every aspect of our daily lives. Drawing on her years as an award-winning journalist, author Sara Bongiorni fills this book with engaging stories and anecdotes of her family's attempt to outrun China's reach–by boycotting Chinese made products–and does a remarkable job of taking a decidedly big-picture issue and breaking it down to a personal level.
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Table of Contents




1. Farewell, my Concubine.

2. Red Shoes.

3. Rise and China.

4. Manufacturing Dissent.

5. A Modest Proposal.

6. Mothers of Invention.

7. Summer of Discontent.

8. Red Tide.

9. China Dreams.

10. Meltdown.

11. The China Season.

12. Road’s End.


About the Author.


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Author Information

Sara Bongiorni is an experienced journalist who has worked at daily newspapers and regional business publications in California and Louisiana for the past decade. Her "beat" 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 the University of Indiana at Bloomington.
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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)

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