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Download Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local—and Helped Save an American Town Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local—and Helped Save an American Town Audiobook, 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: July 2014 ISBN: 9781619697218
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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

  • In a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" and Katherine Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers": These nonfiction narratives are more stirring and dramatic than most novels. And Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won't be putting this book down. Janet Maslin, New York Times
  • 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 of The Most They Ever Had
  • Beth Macy has done a masterful job in personalizing the biggest American economic story of our time--how to save American jobs in the 21st Century. John Bassett III is a cinematic figure and quintessential American, battling for his company, his town and his country. Jonathan Alter, author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
  • The author's brightly written, richly detailed narrative not only illuminates globalization and the issue of offshoring, but succeeds brilliantly in conveying the human costs borne by low-income people displaced from a way of life.... A masterly feat of reporting. Kirkus (starred review)
  • 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. Carl Hays, Booklist
  • Macy's riveting narrative is rich in local color.... Vivid reporting. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • The unlikely hero of Factory Man is a determined, ornery, and absolutely indomitable...business man. He's the head of a family furniture company and damned if he's going to be pushed around. Beth Macy has given us an inspiring and engaging tale for our times, but not the expected one. Alex Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy, Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and Laurence M. Lombard Lecturer in the Press and Public Policy
  • The epic struggle of Virginia furniture manufacturer John Bassett III (JBIII) to save his business has given crackerjack reporter Beth Macy the book she was born to write. Longtime champion of the downtrodden and the working American, Macy brings globalization down to a human scale, giving a real voice and a recognizable face to everyone involved, from factory worker to government official to Chinese importer. Thorough reporting and brilliant writing combine to make FACTORY MAN an exciting, fast-paced account of a quintessentially American story that affects us all. Lee Smith, author of Guests on Earth
  • Beth Macy sees twists and subtleties that other journalists can't see, and she writes about the world around her with grit, honesty and remarkable grace. She has a police detective's diligence and determination, a poet's way with words, and a born storyteller's gift for spot-on narrative. Martin Clark, author of The Legal Limit
  • Spirited, meticulously researched and well-written.... A page-turning tale that covers the company's history, family squabbles and the black-sheep son who rescued the company through pluck, persistence and political wrangling. Margaret Jaworski, Success Magazine
  • I've been reading Beth Macy for years. She is a great American writer. She sees everything, all the precious detail. A few years back, as the world was collapsing around us, she did a story on the temp who was answering phones at a hotline for those in financial hot water. The temp was this immense hero in all these ways that nobody else would have ever recognized. Of course, Macy never called her a hero. She just let the story do the work. Roland Lazenby, author of Michael Jordan
  • 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, author of Dewey and Until Tuesday
  • In a compelling and meticulously researched narrative, Macy follows the story from the Blue Ridge Mountains to China and Indonesia, chronicling [John] Bassett's tireless work to revive his company, and with it, an American town. Garden & Gun
  • It's a must-read just for its look at what happens at home when we send jobs overseas and how we all play a role. This one is a page-turner. DesignSponge
  • A triumph.... Get Factory Man and take your time with it. It's a big ol' delicious toasted sandwich of a book. Kurt Rheinheimer, The Roanoker
  • “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.”

    Booklist

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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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About the Author
Beth Macy won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, a joint project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard for "her extraordinary reporting and narrative skills" and her work on Factory Man. The daughter of a factory worker, she writes about outsiders and underdogs. Her articles have appeared in national magazines and the Roanoke Times, where her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia.
About the Narrator

Kristin Kalbli is an Atlanta voice and stage actor. She has worked for the Process Theatre, OnStage Atlanta, and Theatre Gael, among others. Kristin loves working with, promoting, and supporting new works from Atlanta playwrights and writers. Currently she is grateful to have lots of work recording audiobooks.