Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade” as Want to Read:
The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  1,507 ratings  ·  216 reviews
The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy takes the reader on a fascinating, around the world journey to reveal the economic and political lessons from the life story of a simple t-shirt. Over five years, business professor Pietra Rivoli traveled from a Texas cotton field to a Chinese factory to a used clothing market in Africa, to investigate compelling questions abo ...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,863)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Untuk orang yang sangat awam tentang ekonomi seperti saya, buku ini nyaman dibaca. Isi dari buku ini mengupas tentang Ekonomi Global dan perdagangan bebas.

Metodenya sederhana.
Bercerita tentang perjalanan hidup T-Shirt. Latar belakang pencarian kisah hidup T-Shirt tersebut diawali oleh kegusaran seorang profesor bisnis, Pietra Rivolli,terhadap celotehan aktifis yang menggugat perdagangan bebas. Dari mana dia(aktifis) tau?.
Untuk membuktikan ocehan aktifs itu, si Prof pun menggali asal muasal T-S
(4.5) Surprisingly good, though not surprisingly not much actually about the path of her T-shirt

In-depth investigation of the history and politics of the industries that touch T-shirts: cotton production, processing, apparel manufacturing, shipping, recycling. She traces the history of each of these industries from their birth to today, then picks apart the current trends driving the industries today. Particularly eye-opening were the fights over tariffs and import quotas on apparel...many parti
Garrett Burnett
An economist follows the life of her t-shirt in painful detail. Rivoli starts in the cotton fields of Texas and ends up in Tanzania in the rag and second-hand clothing market. She spends plenty of time in Asia along the way, specifically China, and shares a somewhat dispassionate assessment of sweat shops.

Rivoli spends way too much time talking about the textile lobby in the United States. Throughout, she presents her analysis in a narrative form, and therefore focuses on specific characters an
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything asks clever questions and explores them in clever ways. It's a fun read. But if you're going to read just one popularized economics book this year, I recommend The Travels of a T-Shirt. It breaks the major rule of economics-qua-science: it is an extended anecdote with frequent detours into cultural history and popular biography. As my scientist friends like to remind me, and as Rivoli herself is at pains to point out, the p ...more
Pietra Rivoli bought a souvenir T-shirt, and then she wrote a book about it. Inspired to explore the lowly T-shirt by an anti-WTO rally, she determined to look at the issues related to cotton farming, to clothing manufacture, and ultimately to the used-clothing trade.

If there is one message in this book, it is that free trade in the world of cotton is myth. With one exception, that is. More about that later.

First Rivoli traces the story of cotton as a critical commodity. The preeminence of the U
This is long, carefully researched and well written book about the history, geography, culture, politics and trade in cotton and cotton textiles in particular and trade in general. The author gives an excellent overview of how politics, culture and money interact to create complex trade policies in US and around the world. Although a cotton T-shirt is the last thing you would expect governments and interest groups to fight over, it is surprising to find the number of lives it affects. It is fasc ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
There has been a lot written recently in blogs and traditional media about the environmental impact of a cotton T-Shirt. This book is the granddaddy of all of them.

In a well-written and succinct book, Prof. Rivoli tells us about how this most ubiquitous item of western attire is created, used, and disposed of - once, twice, and maybe a third time. Using both objective facts and personal anecdotes, this book is both educational and enjoyable.

Although I read it a little while back and the book its
Alvaro Berrios
What a superb book. Whether you’re a free trade supporter, a staunch protectionist, or a fierce labor activist you need to read this book! This is hands down the most unbiased book I have ever read from the perspective that all sides of the debate are tdiscussed or addressed. And whatever your beliefs are, I guarantee that you will find something in this book that will cause you to stop, and possibly re-think or tweak some of your own ideals.

The book is well-written, immensely informative and t
This book shows you a bit of the lives of several people along the supply chain and trade routes of T-shirts, including American cotton farmers, Chinese factory girls, trade lobby etc. This is the main contribution of the book and probably also what makes it appealing to many people. However, I found many of the points made quite obvious. American cotton farmers compete based on technology, machinery and generous subsidies, Chinese textile manufacturers on low wages...
Another weakness of the boo
There was a horrifying moment when I was reading this book about economics and politics and boll weevils where I found myself laughing out loud. Who am I.

I did actually enjoy reading this book, even though the economic and political topics are not always my favorite. But I'm reading this for a sociology course and the class discussions definitely elevate the book. And the voice of the author was compelling and engaging enough to keep me turning the pages (without falling asleep) and make me laug
An engaging read and a good book even if you only have a layman's understanding of economics. Very interesting to hear about the people she met along the way while researching.

I disagree with some of the author's conclusions in the last section but there was a lot of good information in here to consider. She believes that the path to world peace is the free market, and believes that it empowers everyone it comes in contact with. I'm unsure that she's in an unbiased position to make such broad st
I think this book should be required reading for schools from HS and up. Many, many people only repeat the propaganda put out by activist groups (ie: anti-trade) without any real knowlege of what they are saying. This book would help to clear up their incorrect thought processes and open their eyes to at least some as to what is really happening in the big picture of trade. I learned so much from this book even having a financial background. I told my friend it was like taking a college class wi ...more
Bibhu Ashish
It was wonderful to read the book and get so much insight into how the global trade works. Though the book is all about the cotton and apparel industry, it can be applicable to any industry in this world of globalization. It throws a lot of light on how politics affect the global trade.

Another interesting aspect which the book dealt with so nicely was that it is not the globalization which hampers the local economies, but it is the political reaction, political response and political involvemen
Roy Smith
This book was presented well and was the initial inspiration for my Policy Brief written for my AP Language and Composition class. The book made a lot of sense and the introduction had brought the audience to a clear understanding of the context and the setting of the area that Rivoli is studying for her book. However, I personally felt that the book spend an ample amount of time on the cotton industry and the history of cotton, mainly focusing on the slave trade in America and the Caribbean. Th ...more
This one's for economics geeks -- it's not for the faint of enthusiasm. However, if you are one of those odd birds who really digs econ and trade policy, you'll enjoy this. For the most part, I did. I thought the beginning, which describes how the US cotton industry has maintained market dominance for hundreds of years while its pre-eminence has evaporated in numerous other areas, was really interesting. The middle section, in which trade policy is addressed rather at length (ahem) drags a bit, ...more
The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy follows the production of a simple t-shirt from the growing of the cotton to the final stages of marketing, and provides an economist's insight into the situation. The book is entertaining, yet provides a great insight into such issues as tariffs, sweatshop labor, and globalization. It it gives a first hand look into all parts of production by associating faces with the jobs they perform. The author also interviews workers first hand. This book was ...more
Sarah Mansour
Pietra Rivoli takes you on a trip of a T-shirts production, distribution, usage and re-usage.
She starts off with the very basic farming of the cotton, covering its history in the US and its chronological development following the technological revolution. She then goes on and gives possible scenarios of where the cotton ends up to be made into garments and t-shirts. For that, she visits the main production site: China. In China you get exposed to various aspects of the t-shirt production starti
Brian Keller
An even-handed look at globalization. My views on protectionism and off-shoring were, to say the least, uninformed prior to reading this book. Now, through the lens of this industry, I can see more of the complexity of interaction between the workers, the government regulation, business, and the customers. I highly recommend this book to everyone. The only weakness is also the book's strength, that is, the author's coverage of the topic is so thorough that it becomes tedious in spots.
What a long, strange trip a T-shirt takes. Told through both a history of cotton production and the individual stories of people in the t-shirt supply chain, I kept expecting to be bored but was continuously fascinated...perhaps because I am a supply chain professional.

As an academic, the author does a nice job of qualifying her insights, and provides great context both in the fascinating history of cotton production built on the backs of slaves to the innovations that have emerged and why the e
This book had so much promise- I found the idea of tracing the history of a particular t-shirt from source to end product compelling (and I'm not usually one to be that interested in economics). There was a lot here to consider: the complex interplay between politics and capitalism, the pros and cons of globalisation etc.

Unfortunately, Rivoli spends a lot of time focusing on the US. That's not to say that this isn't valid or interesting in and of itself, but it means that the sections which deal
Cameron Samodai

I received the book The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli as a gift from my aunt and uncle, who are both aware that I’m very interested in economics. I was drawn to this book because I don’t read nearly enough on economics in physical book form, and so often the sources provide inaccuracy. A physical book’s sources are checked, because the publisher has a reputation to uphold. That, and books cost money to produce, while an Internet post just takes time. Going into thi
Thought it'd give more insight into the economics of globalism, but ended up with more knowledge about cotton production than I ever really cared to know about.
I honestly found this book a bit simple, especially in its analysis of apparel production in China. But four stars. Because 1) there is a great chapter that provides historical and economic context for Texas Cotton (after reading Rivoli, I am now certain this is a proper noun) and 2) there is a chapter about the second-hand clothes market!! For anyone who has shopped in – and has questions related to – the second-hand clothes markets the in developing world, Rivoli digs into the second-hand indu ...more
This book, although older, was surprisingly good. It's well written and the story is current enough to still be applicable. I found it abandoned on a bookshelf at work and thought it might be good to sift through for some tid bits on economics. The author does a great job of taking a trivial item, a random t-shirt, to create and interesting analogue on the good and bad of the global economy. I was most surprised by the overwhelming amount of politics involved. This book was a business book of th ...more
Yilin Peng
Found this book from the reading list of next year's Trade module and it's been an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

Great story telling, touches upon some of the most heated debates of globalization -- path-dependency, free trade vs fair trade, winners and losers of protectionism, etc. (which reminds me of last year's Development module and my Why Nations Fail read) -- with references to some other great books on the topics. While it may start by contradicting some beliefs on the street, e.g
One thing is certain - if we took everything foreign off our backs and out of our houses, most of us would be standing nearly naked in empty rooms. Even as we consumers all like to pay less for products, we don't understand near enough about the costs.

Though likely a bit dry for most people, this is a terrifically interesting topic. The T-shirt’s journey shows how economic forces react to obstacles, fighting off the U.S. textile industries, Southern congressmen, and a labyrinth of tariffs and q
Justin Tapp

Rivoli is an economist at Georgetown Univ. who decided to take up a sweatshop protester's challenge and find out where her t-shirt was made. What follows is a journey through the supply chain and an in-depth look at the complicated rules and regulations on trade.

It's a great historical look at how the U.S. has developed its production, labor standards, and comparative advantages. How America's domination of the cotton market is partly through creative ingenuity and a free enterprise system and p
Mary Anne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Agak lucu juga nemu buku ini. Sekitar sebulan lalu aku dapat kaos oleh-oleh dari bos di kantor yang baru pulang dari Belgia. Seumur hidup sampai sekarang, baru kali ini aku dapat kaos dengan logo fair trade di belakangnya. Ada logo Max Havelaar dan keterangan bahwa kaos itu diproduksi dengan menerapkan prinsip-prinsip fair trade.

Menurut organisasi fair trade sedunia International Federation of Alternative Trade (IFAT), fair trade adalah perdagangan yang berdasarkan pada dialog, keterbukaan dan s
John and Kris
I receive two notices monthly from local charities willing to pick-up gently used clothing items from my front porch on specific days. Last year I donated, on multiple occasions, giant garbage bags of button down shirts, polo shirts, dress slacks, and t-shirts, many, many t-shirts. How do Americans acquire so many t-shirts? Think about your closet. Now think about your t-shirts. How many t-shirts do you really wear on a regular basis?

The average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing and te
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 95 96 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Food Politics
  • Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence"
  • A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
  • Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival
  • Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery
  • Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
  • Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
  • A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World from Prehistory to Today
  • Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World
  • Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis
  • The Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes
  • Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development
  • More Than Good Intentions: How a New Economics Is Helping to Solve Global Poverty
  • Pop Internationalism
  • Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage
  • Drugs, Oil & War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia & Indochina
  • Theories of Development
  • Introduction to International Political Economy
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 International Business

Share This Book

“How did the Farm Bill achieve overwhelming support from Congress in the face of such widespread calls for reform?...In exchange for leaving support for the large commodity crop farmers in place, House and Senate negotiators packaged support for nearly everyone else into the bill.” 2 likes
More quotes…