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A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the… (2007)

by Sara Bongiorni

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2431596,095 (3.14)15
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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Not quite what I was expecting. I thought the author really over used the word "Chinese" to describe everything that she couldn't buy, so it became very repetitive very quickly. There was a lot of focus around her children and their toys, which I guess is to be expected, but I don't know..it was just a bit boring to be honest. I think the idea behind it was very interesting, it just didn't work for me as a book, I guess. ( )
  AshleyVanessaGG | Jul 6, 2020 |
I liked the book for the most part. I was diasppointed, however, that Bongiorni never mentioned groceries (apart from one can of tinned mandarin slices). China supplies a lot of the world's food and household items (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.) - I'd have liked to hear how she dealt with that.
In some ways the book read like a padded out blog, but I still enjoyed it. ( )
  Aula | May 29, 2016 |
This is an incredibly problematic piece of journalism. It came out at a time when "a year of" books were very prominent, but this one, while I think trying to be jaunty and fun, comes across as xenophobic. The author relies heavily on a conceit that I hope an editor urged her to make up about her one Chinese ancestor resurfacing periodically as single strands of black hair on she and her daughter's otherwise beautiful, blond heads.

Basically the family is going to boycott products made in China, not (as her mother asks) because of the deplorable conditions in many Chinese factories or the totalitarian government, but because of a vague unease with relying so heavily on a single trading partner. Yet even that seems thin, a palatable explanation for what reads like xenophobic racism. Would there be this much consternation if all cars were made in France? or all plastic children's toys made in England?

Also, this is so petty, but her now husband asked her to marry him after knowing each other two weeks.
  knownever | Apr 9, 2016 |
A tale of resisting the purchase of items made in China by a 4 person American family for one calendar year. Not terribly engaging. The author makes some very flexible rules for the project and then whines when people annoy her by following them. I was hoping for a discussion of the Chinese government's economic policies and their factory warehousing of young employees or, at the very least, some sense of personal defiance of society's values. What I got was a weak recounting of 365 days of deprivation to be followed, one assumes, by a relapse of former and "easier" buying habits. Not at all inspiring. ( )
1 vote justicefortibet | May 6, 2011 |
I've read many reviews of this book, and while I don't disagree with many of the points the reviewers made, I enjoyed the book immensely because it offered an interesting look at how challenging it can be to avoid Chinese goods, regardless of your intentions or commitment level. It was a human story of globalization -- one based in the idea that the ubiquitous nature of Chinese production is so all encompassing as to make life for a family in the US that wished to avoid its products rather challenging.That's it. It's not a political book per se. Nor did it claim to be on the jacket. In my view it is a personal, human story -- not a political one. And that's why I liked it. I suppose on some level many of our most mundane purchases are indirect political acts, but this book proved that in many cases people don't really have choices at all. ( )
  Oreillynsf | May 15, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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On January 1, 2005, my family embarked on a yearlong boycott of Chinese products. (Introduction)
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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.

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