Travels of a T-Shirt Review Essay

Words: 1574
Pages: 7

Travels of a t-shirt in a global economy In her book, The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy, Pietra Rivoli takes on the intricacies and complexities of trade and globalization through following the path of a T-Shirt she purchased from Walgreens for $5.99. It is a very informative book and her writing is such that the reader is left feeling both well informed on the issues discussed, as well as entertained. Rivoli breaks up the book into 4 sections. In Part I, “King Cotton,” we are brought to an area in West Texas, an area that boasts to be home to much of the world’s cotton. In fact, the main city, Lubbock, calls itself the “cottonest city” in the world (Rivoli 3). Cotton, it would seem, has a very sordid past. “The worlds …show more content…
to Africa. The book does a really good job taking a diplomatic approach to globalization. For that reason, it does not really emphasize as much a clear-cut winner and loser, as many other writings seem to do. For example, in Richard Florida’s Who’s Your City?, he makes it very clear that “today’s global economy is powered by a surprisingly small number of places” (19). So while Rivoli thinks that even if it’s at the bottom where you start, it’s at least somewhere, you can see that Florida does not necessarily share this point of view. He see’s the world as now comprised of peaks and valleys. Those at the bottom would conceivably be in the valleys. This makes it difficult to connect with those in the peaks since the “people in spiky places are often more connected to each other” (Florida 32). Florida calls this the “peak-to-peak connectivity. Also, while using her t-shirt, a common everyday item that we can all relate to, as her example, Rivoli sets us up with a view that globalization is essentially a timeline. In For Space, by Doreen Massey, however, we get a different point of view. She believes that it is not to anyone’s benefit to “fail to recognize the multiplicities of the spatial” aspects of globalization (83). She goes on to say that it is dangerous to imagine globalization as spreading from sources of economic power and wealth “across a passive surface of space” (83). I think this is a very interesting point that is missed in T-shirt. Everything