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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The losely woven and intricate cloth of globalization
A month or so ago, I received a call from an excited colleague who was wondering if I'd be willing to review a book for her. It seems her friend had just successfully published a book and was to begin publicizing it in a round of events. My reply was, "Sure, have the publisher send me a copy." A couple of weeks later, a review copy of Fugitive Denim arrived and I thought,...
Published on December 31, 2007 by Dave Kinnear

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars So wordy...
Yes, there's good content here hidden among a lot of useless and boring details (like how one cotton tester likes to knot his ties), but it's such a slog to get through. I am finding about 10% of it to be interesting and useful, the rest off topic and dull. I am skimming now and likely won't finish it. For me it was an unfortunate purchase.
Published 4 months ago by JH


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The losely woven and intricate cloth of globalization, December 31, 2007
A month or so ago, I received a call from an excited colleague who was wondering if I'd be willing to review a book for her. It seems her friend had just successfully published a book and was to begin publicizing it in a round of events. My reply was, "Sure, have the publisher send me a copy." A couple of weeks later, a review copy of Fugitive Denim arrived and I thought, "What have I done? This may be tough to get through." Well, instead I had a tough time putting it down. Far from a dry treatise on globalization, I found myself immersed in the lives of several characters and wanting to know more about them and how they were "getting along." Ms. Snyder, in discussing her book with friends took to joking that it was "about the people in your pants." Indeed! This intriguing story about the people who make our clothes educated me on some of the intricacies of globalization in general and the garment industry in particular. The peoples' stories are compelling; from Mehman Husseinov who loves cotton, to Rogan who designs denim garments with soul and style to Alison and Bono (Paul) Hewson who want to support workers worldwide and Scott, the auditor who said, "The only boundaries that exist, exist in your own mind."

Snyder is an award winning (Overseas Press Award) investigative journalist. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, Slate, Glamour, Jane, Salon and the New Republic. Her considerable skills are on display in this book. She writes in a clear, concise manner with ample footnote and endnote support. Yet she has managed to weave story that wends its way from Cambodia to Azerbaijan to New York and points in between. Her ability to use an incredible amount of detail to build her characters successfully propels the story forward. Snyder has managed to put a wonderfully human face on a very complex issue of pitting our ecosystem against the undeniable forces of globalization and consumerism. From factories to responsible buyers, the story jets from country to country, from person to person and from celebrity to unsung hero.

True to her profession, Snyder avoids preaching or forcing conclusions. Rather she puts facts in front of the reader, with the references for validation, and magically mixes the facts with an incredibly creative wit. Fugitive Denim makes the reader laugh, wonder, and shake her or his head at the sheer complexity of the treaties, quotas and labeling systems we have created.

Fugitive Denim is an intelligent, compelling and well documented story that is a cut above other books on the pervasive effects of globalization in our lives. This is a must read for any government official or business executive involved in international sourcing or commerce - and who isn't these days?

David Kinnear
CEO, dbkAssociates, Inc.
[...]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeans and the People who Have Touched Yours, December 20, 2007
Here's a fascinating book about the economic, agricultural, environmental, political and socioeconomic effect of purchasing a pair of jeans. Everywhere you go people are wearing jeans. Everyone I know owns at least one pair. Around the world thousands of people are wishing you would buy a pair of jeans. In fact their livelihood depends on it. The global denim industry is a $55-billion-a-year business.
This book by an international journalist, is an amazing journey from the cotton fields of Azerbaijan to sweat shops in Cambodia, to the politics of Capitol Hill, to an award winning designer whose goal is to save the planet. I now look more closely at the jeans people are wearing and my opinion about buying another pair of jeans has been challenged.

Rachel is a brilliant, funny writer who researched her topic with amazing detail. Despite language and cultural barriers, she was able to get into the hearts and minds of the people who make a living off the making and selling of blue jeans. The garment industry, which employs as many as 40 million people, is an often overlooked industry, and thousands of employees are in jeopardy when bad weather destroys a field of cotton, international tax laws get appealed or a NY designer changes the cut of a pant leg. This book truly is about the people in your pants and the work they do so we can look and feel good in our favorite pair of jeans.

Liz Mohler, M.S.
Executive Career Coach
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never look at your jeans the same again!, January 18, 2008
By 
Man oh man, this is a really interesting important and globe-trotted work. I highly recommend following Rachel Louis Snyder's "thread" between countries, working people, cultural icons and raw material. In the process you will learn about some facinating trade laws/practices, labor trends and most importantly your possible impact as a consumer. I found her narrative voice extremely engaging and felt like we coud easily share a conversation and cup of coffee! It is not easy to paint as far-reaching a picture as Ms. Snyder lends us. I can only thank her for the effort and urge readers to open to page one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read!, March 12, 2008
By 
Loung Ung (Washington DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm a big fan of Rachel Snyder. I've enjoyed her
pieces in Salon, Ms., Jane and more. I've also
laughed out loud at her stories on NPR's All Things
Considered, Market Place, and This American Life.
So I was not surprised to find myself chuckling,
gasping, nodding, and pondering the words of Ms.
Snyder on the pages of Fugitive Denim: The Moving
Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of
Global Trade. This book reads like a novel with
characters that our well fleshed out and real--because
they are real! The story moves seamlessly from one
page to another and carries me right along with it
from New York City to Azerbaijan to Cambodia.

As a reader, I am in complete agreement with Karen
Masterson's review of the book in the Chicago Tribune.
Fugitive Denim.."Contains a number of surprises about
the most ubiquitous of clothes. . . Ultimately Snyder
gets readers to think about the real costs of
clothing, and it's likely they won't look at $30 or
$200 jeans the same way again."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating global journey, January 13, 2008
By 
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the people - from the cotton farmer in Azerbaijan to the factory workers in Cambodia. Seeing and feeling how the thread of the global denim trade intersected with their lives was fascinating. Understanding how interconnected the world really is at the personal level was also thought-provoking. By focusing on the people and not the institutions, Ms. Snyder allows the reader to understand the complexity of globalization. It defies easy generalizations: lives are both better and worse through their connection with this global supply chain. Either way, their lives - our lives - are changing and the challenge is to understand that change (at the personal and institutional level) and find productive, creative ways to deal with it. Ms. Snyder's book is a step along that path. An excellent read for anyone interested in better understanding the global age we are living in - or if you are just curious to know the mighty journey your jeans made before landing in your dresser drawer. They have a prior life as world travelers!
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2.0 out of 5 stars So wordy..., March 14, 2014
By 
JH (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade (Paperback)
Yes, there's good content here hidden among a lot of useless and boring details (like how one cotton tester likes to knot his ties), but it's such a slog to get through. I am finding about 10% of it to be interesting and useful, the rest off topic and dull. I am skimming now and likely won't finish it. For me it was an unfortunate purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the focus is on jeans but there is so much more, February 3, 2014
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This review is from: Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade (Paperback)
a very well researched journey of something i had little awareness of before. certainly i knew that cotton wasn't a fantastic sustainable fibre, that in developing worlds the working conditions (and pay) are deplorable. but the greater impact of desiring and demanding cheaper has far more impact than i imagined.
this book has given me a lot to think about - my own moral dilemma. as a seamstress trying to avoid man made textiles i am supporting a trade that saddens me. i am endeavouring to find other solutions that won't exploit somebody in the textile process. impossible dream? perhaps... but this book vibrates with an urgency that we must do our best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, April 14, 2013
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I read this book for a book review for my international business class and really enjoyed it.
I didn't feel that I was led astray by the synopsis either. I found the the mix between character development, history, economic, social, and political issues to be well dispersed throughout which made this a fairly easy read (ie. I do not enjoy politics but there was enough to compliment the story without getting bored and tuning it out.)
I think that if there was anything that I felt was off-putting would be the author sometimes makes quips that seem a bit distracting and misplaced at times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story - something to think about, January 12, 2013
By 
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Like many I purchased this for college sociology and it was a pretty cool story despite being forced into purchasing it. You never know the journey of your favorite jeans until you read a story like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a moving tale indeed, January 21, 2008
I picked up this book on a recommendation from a friend who knew I'd be interested in the parts that take place in Cambodia. Not only did I enjoy the insight into the garment workers in Cambodia but I was also intrigued by the around the world journey the author takes us on. She has a great storytelling style and weaves the details of the cotton industry seamlessly into this very interesting book.
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Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade
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