Factory Man: Book summary and reviews of Factory Man by Beth Macy

Factory Man

How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town

by Beth Macy

Factory Man by Beth Macy X
Factory Man by Beth Macy
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Book Summary

With over $500 million a year in sales, the Bassett Furniture Company was once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer. Run by the same powerful Virginia family for three generations, it was also the center of life in Bassett, VA - an unincorporated town that existed solely for the people who built the company's products. But beginning in the 1980s, the Bassett company suffered from an influx of cheap Chinese furniture as the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately was forced to send its production offshore to Asia.

Only one man fought back. That man is John Bassett III, a descendant of the Bassetts who is now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co, which employs more than 700 Virginians and has sales of over $90 million. In Factory Man, Beth Macy brings to life Bassett's deeply personal furniture and family story. As she shows how he uses legal maneuvers, factory efficiencies, and sheer grit, cunning, and will to save hundreds of jobs, she also discovers the hidden and shocking truth about industry and America.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Macy's riveting narrative is rich in local color... Vivid reporting." - Publishers Weekly

"Macy, herself the daughter of an assembly-line worker, offers a well-researched title that reads like a novel, with plenty of juicy characters and dialog. For public library and university business collections." - Library Journal

"In a world of blue-collar victims, where logging chains seal forever the doors of mills and factories from the Rust Belt to the Deep South, Beth Macy's award-winning look at one furniture maker's refusal to give in is a breath of hope - and a damn fine story to read." - Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most They Ever Had

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Author Information

Beth Macy Author Biography

Beth Macy is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books Truevine and Factory Man. Based in Roanoke, Virginia for three decades, her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard.

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