Travels of a T-Shirt Book Report

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Question 1: Write a summary of this book

Often, when we think of a t-shirt, not much consideration goes past throwing it on and walking out the door. We discover in The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy, author Pietra Rivoli conveys the story of a t-shirt she purchased in Florida for just $5.99. Beginning with core element of the t-shirt, she describes the cotton boom in the United States and why we have reigned supreme as the leading cotton producer. She even meets with a Texan farmer who warms your heart from the very beginning of the chapter. Next, the cotton goes on to textile mills and factories, and Rivoli explains the history of the textile industry. With this lesson, she demonstrates how the textile industry boom was a leading contributor of the Industrial Revolution in many countries. From this point, we see the t-shirt waiting to be stitched together and awaiting its entrance into the global economy. Rivoli then outlines how the garment finally enters U.S. franchises through a labyrinth of politics, quotas, slave labor, and activism. After it is purchased, worn, and discarded it enters a completely new market-- the small entrepreneurial clothing market in Africa, which according to Rivoli, is the only true free market. She illustrates how underdeveloped countries finally catch a break by capitalizing on another country’s garbage, ending the t-shirt’s international journey. Fundamentally, this book forces you to ask yourself some very important questions about our history as a nation, the exploitation of slave and labor, and the state of free trade as a whole.

Question 2: What is this book’s main idea?

With this comprehensive, economical, and historical depiction, Rivoli sincerely strives to present why. She insists the reader knows why the international textile industry functions the way it does, and shines a revealing light on the truth by conveying the good, the not-so-good, and especially the ugly. It is clear that Rivoli is...
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