September 16, 2014Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town
Written By: Beth Macy
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USAFrom the Press ReleaseBook Description
One man's battle to save hundreds of jobs by taking on China and demonstrating the greatness of American business.
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.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.
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