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Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory (The Lyndhurst Series on the South) Paperback – August 17, 1999
Davidson, who wrote 36 Views of Mount Fuji (1993) and coedited The Oxford Book of Women's Writing in the United States (1995), offers thoughtful commentary, including interviews with six individuals, and Bamberger supplies probing photographs; together, they create a telling portrait of the last six months of the White Furniture Company of Mebane, North Carolina. A 111-year-old firm specializing in high-quality reproduction antiques, White was family owned until 1985 and employed more than 200 people. Davidson researched economic factors and the furniture industry and talked with a range of former White employees (a mill worker, shop-floor supervisors, an executive assistant, and the CEO who decided to close the plant). Bamberger spent days at the factory in its final months, capturing on film the commitment and skill of these six and other workers, as well as their reactions to the elimination of jobs many had held for decades. An eloquent essay on the human cost of downsizing and globalization. Mary Carroll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An unflinchingly fair analysis. Hard-edged and realistic. Closing . . . issues a bold challenge to 'business as usual.' -- New York Times Book Review
Closing is the best kind of documentary --telling a specific story about specific people in a large context that means something. . . . In a better world, Closing would be on the reading lists of every corporate board and business school. -- USA Today
Here is a stupendous book, a complete answer to any who believe that all that counts in a company is its bottom line, and that the only people with a stake in it are its shareholders. -- The Economist
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Top Customer Reviews
Macy's book focuses on John Bassett III and his success at keeping Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company viable. Bamberger and Davidson relate a sadder tale, which is subtitled "the life and death of an American factory." Closing is the story of White Furniture, but it can be read as a tale about any small industry in a rural southern town. Read it to see what those giant, now crumbling, brick buildings once held - economic prosperity. See the faces and read the stories of the employees who lost their livelihoods.
When you finish Closing, open Factory Man.
Highly recommended. By the way, the History Keepers of Mebane, NC are to be applauded for their continued efforts as well to record and remember the great works done by their ancestors in this lovely community.
(By a Chance Visitor)
The only thing missing is an interview with the capitalist that closed the plant. If they tried and he refused the book ought to say so, otherwise it seems that at least a few pages could have been devoted to his side of the story.
All in all, though, a great book to read, as a counterbalance for all of us that invest thru our 401Ks and retirement accounts expecting great returns and divorced from how those returns are obtained (and at what cost to some people).