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The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade. New Preface and Epilogue with Updates on Economic Issues and Main Characters, 2nd Edition

Book Description

The keys to global business success, as taught by a T-shirt's journey

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy is a critically-acclaimed narrative that illuminates the globalization debates and reveals the key factors to success in global business. Tracing a T-shirt's life story from a Texas cotton field to a Chinese factory and back to a U.S. storefront before arriving at the used clothing market in Africa, the book uncovers the political and economic forces at work in the global economy. Along the way, this fascinating exploration addresses a wealth of compelling questions about politics, trade, economics, ethics, and the impact of history on today's business landscape. This new printing of the second edition includes a revised preface and a new epilogue with updates through 2014 on the people, industries, and policies related to the T-shirt's life story.

Using a simple, everyday T-shirt as a lens through which to explore the business, economic, moral, and political complexities of globalization in a historical context, Travels encapsulates a number of complex issues into a single identifiable object that will strike a chord with readers as they:

  • Investigate the sources of sustained competitive advantage in different industries

  • Examine the global economic and political forces that explain trade patters between countries

  • Analyze complex moral issues related to globalization and international business

  • Discover the importance of cultural and human elements in international trade

  • This story of a simple product illuminates the many complex issues which businesspeople, policymakers, and global citizens are touched by every day.

    Table of Contents

    1. Cover
    2. International Praise for Travels of a T-Shirt, Second Edition
    3. Title Page
    4. Copyright
    5. Dedication
    6. Preface
    7. Prologue
    8. Part I: King Cotton
      1. Chapter 1: How America Has Dominated the Global Cotton Industry for 200 Years
      2. Chapter 2: The History of American Cotton
        1. Demand Pull: The Humble Class Gets a Taste for ‘‘Gaiety of Dress''
        2. Keep the Fiddler Well-Supplied with Catgut
        3. Eli Meets a Venture Capitalist
        4. Where Was the Competition?
        5. All God's Dangers Ain't a White Man
        6. Cotton Factories Arrive in Texas
      3. Chapter 3: Back at the Reinsch Farm
        1. C.F. and Hattie Move West (and Bring a Tractor)
        2. White Guys Get All Draggy-Like
        3. Bureaucrats Push Out Sharecroppers
        4. Machines that Don't Get All Discouraged
        5. Pick Your Weather
        6. The Reinsch Children Leave the Farm
        7. Old Enemies, New Friends
        8. Designer Genes
        9. Back to Nature or Forward to the Future?
      4. Chapter 4: All God’s Dangers Ain’t the Subsidies
        1. Backward to Seed and Forward to Denim: Farmer Profits at Every Step
        2. No More Handfuls
        3. All This and Subsidies, Too
        4. Pretty Pigs
        5. No Lipstick for Africa
        6. Where Is the Competition?
        7. Vicious Circles
        8. Too Poor to Pollute
        9. Bt Cotton Comes to China
        10. The Worms Win
    9. Part II: Made in China
      1. Chapter 5: Cotton Comes to China
        1. The Chinese Wall
        2. Shanghai Number 36 Cotton Yarn Factory
        3. The Shanghai Brightness Number 3 Garment Factory
      2. Chapter 6: The Long Race to the Bottom
        1. Inventive Brits versus Thrifty Chinamen
        2. Help Wanted: Docile and Desperate Preferred
      3. Chapter 7: Sisters in Time
        1. Docility on a Leash
        2. Sure Beats the Farm
        3. Amazon.com and Dell Arrive at the Mill
      4. Chapter 8: The Unwitting Conspiracy
        1. Writing the Rules of the Race
        2. Activists Raise the Bottom, 1780–2008
        3. Back at Georgetown, Bored Is Good
        4. Bad for Boy Rats
        5. Trade: Friend or Foe of the Planet?
        6. The China Challenge
        7. The Race Moves On
    10. Part III: Trouble at the Border
      1. Chapter 9: Returning to America
        1. Chinese T-Shirts Versus American Jobs
        2. A Taste of the (Crazy) Rules in 2008
      2. Chapter 10: Dogs Snarling Together
        1. Auggie Goes to Washington
        2. Making Deals and Making Exceptions
        3. 1985 to 1990: The Seed-to-Shirt Coalition
        4. Snarling Back
        5. Gone On Long Enough
        6. The Slow Unraveling
      3. Chapter 11: Perverse Effects and Unintended Consequences of T-Shirt Trade Policy
        1. No More Doffers
        2. Own Worst Enemy
        3. Friends with Benefits
        4. Wal-Mart Backs Musharraf
        5. Race to the Quotas
        6. Auggie and Aristotle Versus Wal-Mart
        7. Creative Destruction
        8. Whither the Dinosaurs?
        9. (Unintended) Winners
      4. Chapter 12: 45 Years of ‘‘Temporary ’’ Protectionism end in 2009–Now What?
        1. The Big Bang
        2. The Big Wink and Nod
        3. A Sigh of Relief
        4. What's Next?
        5. Friends and Enemies, 2008
        6. Obama's Wink
        7. Try This New Underwear
    11. Part IV: My T-Shirt Finally Encounters a Free Market
      1. Chapter 13: Where T-Shirts Go After the Salvation Army Bin
        1. Meet Me in the Parking Lot
        2. Panning for Gold in New Jersey
        3. T-Shirts in the Afterlife
      2. Chapter 14: How Small Entrepreneurs Clothe East Africa With Old American T-Shirts
        1. Mitumba Nation
        2. Two for a Penny
        3. Panning for Gold in Tanzania
        4. Finding Geofrey
        5. Too Big for Used Britches
      3. Chapter 15: Mitumba: Friend or Foe to Africa ?
        1. Shadowy Middlemen and Economic Democracy
        2. Don't Look Now, but China Is Behind You
    12. Conclusion
    13. Epilogue: Developments 2009–2014
      1. I: American Cotton Is Still King
      2. II: The Race to the Bottom Speeds Up
      3. III: The Alphabet Armies March On
      4. IV: Competition Heats Up in the Used Clothing Business
    14. Acknowledgments
    15. Bibliography
    16. Index
    17. End User License Agreement