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Extended Audio Sample Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local—and Helped Save an American Town, by Beth Macy Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Beth Macy Narrator: Kristin Kalbli Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The instant New York Times bestseller about one man’s battle to save hundreds of jobs by demonstrating the greatness of American business

The Bassett Furniture Company was once the world’s biggest wood furniture manufacturer. Run by the same powerful Virginia family for generations, it was also the center of life in Bassett, Virginia. But beginning in the 1980s, the first waves of Asian competition hit, and ultimately Bassett was forced to send its production overseas.

One man fought back: John Bassett III, a shrewd and determined third-generation factory man, now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co, which employs more than seven hundred Virginians and has sales of over $90 million. In Factory Man, Beth Macy brings to life Bassett’s deeply personal furniture and family story, along with a host of characters from an industry that was as cutthroat as it was colorful. As she shows how he uses legal maneuvers, factory efficiencies, and sheer grit and cunning to save hundreds of jobs, she also reveals the truth about modern industry in America.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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. The book tracks John Bassett’s fight to keep American jobs on this side of borders and oceans, and keeps one American town from becoming a place of empty storefronts and FOR SALE signs.”

    Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

  • “John Bassett’s story has everything. An extraordinary dynasty, a relevant and inspiring message, and one of the best heroes I’ve read about in years. It works on every level, from the most personal betrayal to the realities of the global economy, from the struggle of one worker in a small Appalachian town to the future of our cultural as a whole. Part of me wishes I’d found John Bassett III, because this is powerful stuff, but it’s obvious the story is in excellent hands with Beth Macy. Sometimes the right writer comes along with the right story at the right time. This is clearly that book.”

    Bret Witter, New York Times bestselling author

  • “[Macy] has found a terrifically rich subject for her investigative reporting…They give out awards for this kind of thing.”

    New York Times

  • “Macy’s riveting narrative is rich in local color…Vivid reporting.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A masterly feat of reporting.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “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.”

    Library Journal

  • “Journalist Macy, whose reporting often champions underdogs and outsiders, tells the inspiring story here of the crusty septuagenarian’s fight to save his company and employees’ livelihoods, using legal tactics and business savvy…Macy’s down-to-earth writing style and abundance of personal stories from manufacturing’s beleaguered front lines make her work a stirring critique of globalization.”


  • “Kristin Kalbli’s pleasant narration guides the listener through the ins and outs of the Bassetts’ story—family history in the first half of the work segues into John Bassett III’s attempt to fight offshoring and save jobs in the struggling Blue Ridge Mountain region. Kalbli’s use of accents to portray Bassett family members and other locals helps to set the scene. She sensitively depicts the plight of displaced workers as well as ‘JBIII’s’ determination to preserve the local way of life.”


  • “A truly remarkable work of researched narrative nonfiction…Factory Man does justice to every hidden corner of the story. It’s a book that leaves you feeling better for having read it.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, July 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
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