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From Home Furnishing Business

New Book Examines Globalization's Effect in Furniture Industry

Furniture industry people might want to take note of July 15. That's the release date for "Factory Man," a new book that examines the effects of globalization on U.S. furniture manufacturers, their employees and the communities where they operate(d).

The book does that largely through the story of Bassett Furniture Inds. and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, with a history--from both a family and community perspective--of how globalization dried up so much furniture manufacturing in Virginia and other production centers.

Subtitled "How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local--and Helped Save an American Town," the book has a particular focus on Vaughan-Bassett Chairman John Bassett, and his efforts to maintain domestic production through continued investment in manufacturing facilities and his leadership of the U.S. companies that initiated a successful antidumping action against Chinese manufacturers of wood bedroom furniture.

Author Beth Macy, the daughter of a factory worker, lives in Roanoke, Va., where she'd taken a one-year leave from The Roanoke Times to write the book. At the Times, her reporting has won national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard. Last year, Macy's book won Columbia University's J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

"Beth Macy is a gifted writer," said Vaughan-Bassett President Doug Bassett, who's read the manuscript, noting that it was for fact checking only. "It is a warts and all page-turner about my family and our industry."

Factory Man, published by Little, Brown & Co., will be available on Amazon.

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