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Made in China

A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods

By Amelia Pang

Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
288
Publication Date
February 02, 2021
ISBN
9781616209179

Made in China

A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods

By Amelia Pang

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Description

“Moving and powerful.” —Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author 

In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been $5 at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something fell out that she wasn’t expecting: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English by the prisoner who’d made and packaged the items.
 
In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on the labor camps that create the home goods we buy at Kmart, the fast fashion we buy at H&M, and a shocking number of other products besides. The book follows the life of Sun Yi, the Chinese engineer who wrote the note after finding himself a political prisoner, locked in a gulag for joining a forbidden meditation practice and campaigning for the freedom to do so. There he worked alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and anyone else the Chinese government decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.
 
In chasing this story, journalist Amelia Pang has conducted extensive interviews with Sun Yi and the people who knew him. She also identified and interviewed others who endured similar horrors, and who inflicted them. And she traveled to China to follow falsified supply chains herself, tracking trucks from labor camps to warehouses. The story she uncovers is a call to action, urging the American consumer to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies they patronize.

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Review quotes

“A cinematic approach to a vital topic, which should be as close to our hearts as cheap goods are to our wallets. Amelia Pang provides close-ups of the individual stories behind labor camps, and wide-angle views of their context and history."
Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China

“A moving and powerful look at the brutal slave labor camps in China that mass produce our consumer products. Amelia Pang, who puts a human face on the Chinese laborers who work in bondage, makes clear our complicity in this inhuman system. She forces us, like the abolitionists who battled slavery in the 19th century, to place the sanctity of human life before the maximization of profit. It is hard not to finish this book and not be outraged, not only at the Chinese government but the American corporations that knowingly collaborate with and profit from this modern slave trade.”
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author

"Sun's story shows the inhuman nature of the authoritarian Chinese government. The narrative consists of many people’s untold stories. After reading this book, anyone with a conscience will realize it is time to take action for those who are persecuted by the Chinese dictatorship.”
Chen Guangcheng, author of The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man's Fight for Justice and Freedom in China
 

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Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
288
Publication Date
February 02, 2021
ISBN
9781616209179

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