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Publisher's Summary

In 2002, the town of Galesburg, a slowly declining Rustbelt city of 33,000 in western Illinois, learned that it would soon lose its largest factory, a Maytag refrigerator plant that had anchored Galesburg's social and economic life for decades. Workers at the plant earned $15.14 an hour, had good insurance, and were assured a solid retirement. In 2004, the plant was relocated to Reynosa, Mexico, where workers sometimes spent 13-hour days assembling refrigerators for $1.10 an hour.
In Boom, Bust, Exodus, Chad Broughton offers a ground-level look at the rapid transition to a globalized economy, from the perspective of those whose lives it has most deeply affected. We live in a commoditized world, increasingly divorced from the origins of the goods we consume; it is easy to ignore who is manufacturing our smart phones and hybrid cars; and where they come from no longer seems to matter. And yet, Broughton shows, the who and where matter deeply, and in this audiobook he puts human faces to the relentless cycle of global manufacturing.
It is a tale of two cities. In Galesburg, where parts of the empty Maytag factory still stand, a hollowed out version of the American dream, the economy is a shadow of what it once was. Reynosa, in contrast, has become one of the exploding post-NAFTA "second-tier cities" of the developing world, thanks to the influx of foreign-owned, export-oriented maquiladoras - an industrial promised land throbbing with the energy of commerce, legal and illegal. And yet even these distinctions, Broughton shows, cannot be finely drawn: Families in Reynosa also struggle to get by, and the city is beset by violence and a ruthless drug war. Those left behind in the post-Industrial decline of Galesburg, meanwhile, do not see themselves as helpless victims: They have gone back to school, pursued new careers, and learned to adapt and even thrive.
©2015 Chad Broughton (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Meek84 on 07-08-18

A Story I thought I Knew

I thought I knew how this story would go since my husband worked for the Maytag Galesburg Refrigeration Products plant for 20 years and was there at the time of the announcement of the closing. It was interesting to hear about the juxtaposition of the two cities. How as Galesburg floundered, Reynosa expanded but not necessarily in a good way. How the people who thought they would spend their lives making refrigerators reinvented themselves, while life did not become paradise for the Mexican workforce. This book brought back a lot of memories, both good and bad.

Recommend to anyone who wants to know the costs of globalization and international trade.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Jeanine M. Czech on 10-01-15

Interesting look at pros and cons of outsourcing

If you could sum up Boom, Bust, Exodus in three words, what would they be?

Very interesting look at the effects of outsourcing manufacturing jobs - pros and cons for all involved, from leadership to line workers.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Boom, Bust, Exodus?

Learning the negative effects of expanding jobs from USA on community life in Mexico.

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