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T-Shirt Travels Review – Preface


The preface opens and we are with the author at a rally at Georgetown University protesting globalization. This sets a good tone for the rest of the book. The exact perspective the writer will take becomes crystal clear when she quotes a protestor seizing the microphone to ask the crowd, “who made your t-shirt?” This book is an inspection of globalization through the lens of the ubiquitous t-shirt.

Some of Pietra’s most fundamental arguments and observations are revealed in this power-packed but enjoyable opener. She states the t-shirt story is less about competitive markets than politics, history and innovation. She also proposes a bold viewpoint on the relationship between global companies and those that protest them: co-conspirators. She closes this thought with the statement, “in the unintentional conspiracy between the two sides there is promise.”

The preface ends with a mention of China. Textiles and China have become two words so closely tied that this is no surprise. She doesn’t offer a point of view at this pont. But there is an entire section of the book devoted to China so we will certainly touch upon the subject again.


This is part of a chapter by chapter reaction to The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade.

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