Reading List: Factory Man

When globalization threatened his family’s business, third-generation furniture magnate John Bassett III of Vaughn-Bassett Furniture Co. fought back. His refusal to cave in to the pervasive push to manufacture offshore saved jobs and the company town of Bassett, Va.

In her spirited, meticulously researched and well-written account, Roanoke Times reporter Beth Macy spins a page-turning tale that covers the company’s history, family squabbles and the black-sheep son who rescued the company through pluck, persistence and political wrangling.

While reading Factory Man, you’ll find yourself rooting for John Bassett III as he fends off the influx of imports from China while managing to keep his furniture 98 percent American-made and his workers happily employed.

by Beth Macy

July
Little, Brown; $28

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