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

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

Sara Bongiorni
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" interesting sideways glance at the personal effects of globalism..." (Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2007)
"a wry look at the ingenuity it takes to shun the planet's fastest-growing economy." (Bloomberg News, Tues 31st July 2007)
"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." (Financial Times, Saturday 25th August)

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 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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 490 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 256 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0470116137
  • Verlag: Wiley; Auflage: 1 (18. Mai 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B008L0445I
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #363.576 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Die Globalisierung im Mikrokosmos einer Familie 22. Oktober 2007
Von Clauf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Die Idee ist (zu) gut! Ein ganzes Kalenderjahr soll bewußt auf Einkäufe "made in China" verzichtet werden. Gleichzeitig beschreibt die Autorin dieses Selbstversuches das Unverständnis der eigenen Familie, der Verwandten und Freunde und Fremder teils sehr amüsant aber auch lehrreich - wie überhaupt der Grundtenor des Buches eher amüsant-optimistisch denn mit dem erhobenen Zeigefinger daherkommend ist. Trotz der Tatsache, daß einer Familie mit zwei kleinen Kindern nun kaum / nie Gelegenheit gegeben ist, Spielzeug zu kaufen oder jedweden elektronischen Artikel zu kaufen. Dies führt zu Komplikationen im Täglichen, Kämpfen mit sich, mit dem Mann und mit den Kindern usw., verwoben mit historischen, politischen Reflexionen über das Verhältnis Amerikas und Chinas. Eine interessante Lektüre für alle, die die sog. Globalisierung im Mikrokosmos einer amerikanischen (!) Familie als Leser erleben wollen.
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Von Charles Halloway TOP 1000 REZENSENT
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
OK, zugegeben, die Idee ist klasse und man muss wohl auch Respekt vor Frau Bongiorni haben, dass sie ihren Boykott doch über ein gesamtes Jahr (... mit kleinen Tricks) trotz ihres "weakest link" (gemeint ist ihr Ehemann, für mich der eigentliche "Held" der Geschichte) durchhält.
Das Buch ist nett, bekömmlich geschrieben (habe die englisch Aussage gelesen, sollte auch für Sie kein Problem sein, wenn Ihr Schulenglisch in Ordnung ist) und unterhaltsam. Leider aber nicht mehr. Die Autoren greist das gesamte Buch über um ihre Probleme beim Einkauf von entweder Spielzeug oder diversen Haushaltsprodukten. Dass sich die Dramatik am Kindergeburtstag oder an Weihnachten verschärft, ist selbstverständlich. Eine tiefer gehende Bewertung ihrer Probleme sowie deren Implikationen vermeidet sie (bewusst?). Leider zeichnen sich ihre Lösungen (Welches Zeilzeug für die Kinder?) auch nicht immer durch vorbildliche Kreativität aus. Das ist schade, so wird der Leser, der den Blick über den Tellerrand wagen möchte, wohl noch zusätzliche Literatur benötigen und die Auswirkungen dessen, was er das gelesen hat, zu verstehen.
Wie gesagt, wie ein chinesisches Spielzeug. Nett für den Augenblick, aber auch bald wieder vergessen.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen 10 stars....should be in every American library.... 9. Juli 2007
Von Beth DeRoos - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
WOW what an eye opening book. While the author got the idea of not buying anything from china right at Christmas, my awakening has come while packing to move. When I have discovered even the upscale items I had paid thru the nose for, from LL Bean, Smith and Hawkens, even Lenox items, all had Made in China on them.

I also appreciate the authors sense of humor which makes this book an easier read, since it makes you see the problem without becoming a xenophobic type person who also hates the Chinese. In fact she notes its American businesses who have taken American jobs overseas where they can have cheap made goods and higher profits at home that is the real problem.

Am so happy the author wrote this book, which I think should be in every library in America not only because it reminds us of how made in China makes up a good 90% of what we have in our homes. It also goes beyond the issues of out souring and loss of American jobs, to the whole comsumerism and materialism that has Americans by the throat. Even the dang plastic they use to make Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and American Express is made in China.

Look at the millions of cell phones, iPods, iPhones, video games, and all the high tech items Americans stand in line to be the first to buy. All made in China. And bought by an increasingly obese sit at home and do nothing, consumers.

And as she noted the shoes for kids whose feet grow faster than a corn field, and sold at all the major stores that families with kids frequent, all seem to have the made in China label. Same with virtually every toy and most school supplies. She even writes of going out of her way to buy made in Italy shoes for the kids. Makes me wonder where Stride Rite shoes we used to buy that were made here in the states are now made.

Even her husband found that when a repair for something in the house needed doing that places like Lowe's, Home Depot etc had the parts needed but also Made in China on the box. Items may be cheaper on the surface but what are the deeper costs?

If Americans were willing to pay fifty cents more and they knew the item would result in Made in USA and a job here at home for a fellow American I firmly believe that people would pay up.

Am going to give my copy to the local library where more people can be challenged.
69 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An unforgettable look at where far too much of our stuff comes from... 11. Juli 2007
Von Thomas Duff - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
So do you know where the vast majority of the stuff in your house and life is made? Have you ever given it much thought? Try reading A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni for an entertaining and eye-opening look at just how much we have come to depend on China for everyday life. Besides being a laugh-out-loud read, it will cause you to start looking a bit more carefully at that "Made In" tag...

Contents: Introduction; Farewell, My Concubine; Red Shoes; Rise and China; Manufacturing Dissent; A Modest Proposal; Mothers of Invention; Summer of Discontent; Red Tide; China Dreams; Meltdown; The China Season; Road's End; Epilogue; About the Author; Index

Sara Bongiorni, the author, decided on January 1, 2005, that her and her family would spend a year without buying anything made in China. This wasn't a radical "WE MUST BUY AMERICAN!" reaction, rather an experiment to see if it was possible to live without feeding the growing economic tiger across the Pacific. Factor in the elements of a husband and two young children, and it becomes a task far beyond what she had imagined. With her journalistic background, she set off on an adventure that taxed her will, her patience, and her sanity. And you, the reader, get to come along for the ride and the laughs.

The rules were simple. Nothing could be purchased that had a "Made In China" sticker on it. Gifts received by others could be made in China, but there would be no family purchases that fell in that category. What she and her husband quickly found is that there are vast consumer areas that are nearly all Chinese-dominated. Toys? Nearly all made in China. Lamps? Made in China. Shoes for the kids? China. Electronics? Yup, China. It was possible to find exceptions to these rules, but it usually meant hours (or days) of searching, in addition to spending far more money than they were used to. Birthday candles for cakes? China. Holiday decorations? China. That one special toy that your child just HAS to have at Christmas because Santa will come through? Count on it being made in China. The interplay of emotions and dialogue between her and everyone else had me reading passages to my wife (and both of us laughing). And I could relate to her schemes to get around the boycott by mentioning to her mother-in-law what exactly so-and-so wanted for their birthday, knowing it could come in as a gift but not as a purchase. Desperation makes cowards of us all. While there were a few mistaken buys (as well as a few knowing "mistakes" by "the Weaker Link"), overall the boycott was pretty closely adhered to. Not that there weren't some times when giving in would have been easier on everyone, however...

The underlying message in all this is that we've abandoned large areas of industry and commerce to others who will manufacture it for far less money than American and European workers. While we might be able to get the $49 DVD player and the $10 red sneakers for the kids at Wal-Mart, the question is... what happens when all the decent jobs are shipped off and we can't afford even the basics? Manufacturing in China might keep prices much lower, but it also eliminates the jobs that offer wages to pay for those goods. Bongiorni does a great job of making those points without turning the book into a diatribe against global trade. The average person is much more likely to read a book like this, enjoy the story, and start to grasp the important points. A business book about the same subject with stats and theories would probably never get opened...

I read this book in about one day, as I couldn't put it down. And when I went to work today, I started flipping over a few things on my desk. China, China, China... While I'm not ready to take the same drastic actions of the author, I will be much more aware of just what I'm doing when I pick up that household item that I absolutely *need*. Maybe, just maybe, I'll flip over a few more options before I decide.
45 von 49 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Missing Conversation About STUFF 4. Februar 2011
Von Jonathan Wolfe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
The book went from one item to another that needed replacing, and the author's struggles with finding replacements not made in China. The author also focuses the book a lot on gifts to her children. What the book completely missed was the re-evaluation of how much "stuff" we really need. Not once does the author consider purchasing a product used or even foregoing the physical gift and giving the gift of experience for someone. For example, the author's husband wants to purchase a blow-up pool for their son's birthday. What about using the local pool or looking for a used pool at a garage sale, second-hand store, or Craigslist? A simple example of reuse is birthday candles. At one point in the book, the author cons her sister into bringing birthday candles to her husband's birthday party because all birthday candles are made in China. She clearly violated the boycott, but then she turns around and throws them away and later uses tea lites for her daughter's birthday because tea lites aren't made in China. What about reusing the candles----eliminate the waste?! I have used the same birthday candles for 5 years now and they still have plenty of use left in them.

I was flabbergasted at the sheer amount of gifts the author's children receive throughout the year. Again, it comes down to values and giving kids toys for everything which only sets the expectation of more toy giving. It's that word again, STUFF. How about the author take her children to the Zoo, park, swimming pool, or treat them with ice cream? Why must she belabor the Made in China products when she's in the store trying to find Halloween decorations, when there are probably fresh pumpkins outside of retail stores and grocery stores in her area?

What about finding alternatives for things and use your creativity? For example, the author hims and haws over the lack of beach toys her children have at the beach and then proceeds to steal all of the "forgotten" beach toys left on the sand when families leave. How about using other containers (e.g. yogurt tubs, ice cream pails, etc.) that produce the same or similar effect even if they aren't brightly colored with star fish imprinted on the sides?

Has our ability to be creative in gift giving completely diminished? Giving the gift of experience has so much more meaning and memories than a plastic figurine, whether it comes from China or not. I understand that the book was trying to make a point about China globalization, but the book could have had more substance if it evaluated Americans' attachment to stuff; and how we can get the same quality of happiness without all that stuff. Think of how much time the author spent researching and fretting about trying to find non made in china stuff that could have been directed towards time with her children, volunteering in the community, etc.
47 von 54 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Engaging Read 2. Juli 2007
Von S. Reisner - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I actually rushed out to buy this book this weekend after reading an online news story that interviewed this author. The book sounded intriguing. A Year Without "MADE IN CHINA": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni is, as the title says, the story about how the author and her family attempted to avoid products MADE IN CHINA for an entire year and the difficulties and frustrations (and humorous things, too) they encounter along the way . The book was so engaging that I sat down and read the entire thing, cover to cover, in between doing my laundry. As I loaded the wash machine, I found myself looking at the labels of each article of clothing I was throwing in. It never really occurred to me how much of what we buy is actually MADE IN CHINA. It also never occurred to me how difficult it would be to kick China out (especially for folks with kids). I thought I would offer this book up to my husband to read next (and I probably still will), but I suspect that it might not resonate with him simply because, in my opinion, it's a bit too kid-heavy so he might find himself annoyed with that (we're child-free). Reading this book felt like, to me, having a long conversation over coffee with a girlfriend. It's definitely worth a read, especially for those who are in charge of doing most of the shopping for their families. It will definitely make you more mindful about what you're buying and considerate of your own role in the global economy. Mind you this book is NOT about demonizing China, but rather understanding how dependent we are on China for certain things (especially shoes and children's toys) and how indulgent a society we really are. Or at least that's what I took away from it.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen How to Be Successful in Publishing: Throwing Your Family Under the Bus 5. Februar 2011
Von Daniel Burke - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I had such great hopes for this book. When I first learned of it, I had started to try to be more aware of where the products that I purchase are made, and to try to choose US-made products where choices were reasonably available.

So I was encouraged to see that others had undertaken similar ventures, and hoped to find support and a kindred spirit.

Alas, I nearly gave up on the book a fourth of the way through. About the time that the author condescendingly dubbed her husband as "the weakest link" and proclaimed him the greatest danger to her lofty project, I began to get a sour taste in my mouth.

I managed to muddle through though, cringing through endless pages of neurotic obsession about whether she'd somehow permanently damaged her five year old by refusing to buy him whatever passing fancy he thought he couldn't live without, interspersed with conspiracy-theory paranoia about whether her husband was secretly comforting the enemy.

The worst parts were the gleeful discoveries of goods made in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Pakistan, as if suddenly patronizing the sweatshops of those countries would save the world from China. In the end, it turned out to be more about endless self-analysis than about China, globalization, or the betterment of her family.

A great concept, unfortunately one that failed from the start.
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