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

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

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In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.

The note’s author, Sun Yi, was a mild-mannered Chinese engineer turned political prisoner, forced into grueling labor for campaigning for the freedom to join a forbidden meditation movement. He was imprisoned alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and tens of thousands of others the Chinese government had decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.

About the Author

Amelia Pang is an award‑winning journalist who has written for publications such as Mother Jones and the New Republic. In 2017, the Los Angeles Press Club awarded her first place in investigative journalism for her undercover reporting on the exploitation of smuggled immigrants who are recruited to work in Chinese restaurants. Amelia grew up in a Mandarin‑speaking household in Maryland, and holds a BA in literary studies from the New School. She lives near Washington, DC.

Product details

  • Full Audio MP3 Program
  • Full PDF E-Book Included
  • Publisher : Algonquin Books (February 2, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Print Length : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1616209178
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1616209179
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Product Description

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

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: Newsweek Refinery29

“Timely and urgent . . . Pang is a dogged investigator.” —The New York Times Book Review

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

Discover the truth behind the discounts

In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.

“Sir: If you occassionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicuton of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

The note’s author, Sun Yi, was a mild-mannered Chinese engineer turned political prisoner, forced into grueling labor for campaigning for the freedom to join a forbidden meditation movement. He was imprisoned alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and tens of thousands of others the Chinese government had decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.

In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on Sun’s story and the stories of others like him, including the persecuted Uyghur minority group whose abuse and exploitation is rapidly gathering steam. What she reveals is a closely guarded network of laogai—forced labor camps—that power the rapid pace of American consumerism. Through extensive interviews and firsthand reportage, Pang shows us the true cost of America’s cheap goods and shares what is ultimately a call to action—urging us to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies we patronize.

Review

“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 Prizewinning journalist and author

“Amelia Pang has written a powerful new book that traces what we buy back to those who made it, often under truly torturous conditions.”
Scott Simon, host of NPR / Weekend Edition Saturday

“Amelia Pang exposes the shadow economy of forced labor in Made in China. Pang adroitly situates readers to Chinese culture and society… [and] sounds an uplifting note of agency and empowerment about the prospective impact of reforming Western consumption.”
San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Amelia Pang is an award‑winning journalist who has written for publications such as Mother Jones and the New Republic. In 2017, the Los Angeles Press Club awarded her first place in investigative journalism for her undercover reporting on the exploitation of smuggled immigrants who are recruited to work in Chinese restaurants. Amelia grew up in a Mandarin‑speaking household in Maryland, and holds a BA in literary studies from the New School. She lives near Washington, DC.

Product details

  • Full Audio MP3 Program
  • Full PDF E-Book Included
  • Publisher : Algonquin Books (February 2, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Print Length : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1616209178
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1616209179

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