To raise awareness about the impact of globalization on society, the UC Santa Barbara Libraries have chosen the "Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy: an Economist Examines the Markets, Power and Politics of World Trade" by Pietra Rivoli as this year's book selection for the UCSB Reads program.
The book has been widely acclaimed by both the popular press and the academic community as both an entertaining and illuminating study of globalization.
UCSB Reads, now in its second year, seeks to engage the campus and the Santa Barbara community in conversations about a key topic while reading the same book.
"This year's selection focuses on globalization in a down-to-earth way using a consumer item loved and used by almost everyone on the planet, and it draws in multiple contexts from economics, to history, to politics," said Brenda L. Johnson, university librarian at UCSB.
"We hope that everyone enjoys learning about globalization in a fresh and accessible way through the worldwide travels of a T-shirt!"
Beginning on Jan. 15, UCSB's Davidson Library will give free copies of Rivoli's book to 2000 registered UCSB students.
The UCSB Bookstore also will be selling the book at a 20 percent discount, and Santa Barbara public libraries will have extra copies available for loan, including audio books, throughout Santa Barbara County. The Luria Library at Santa Barbara City College is also participating in the project.
Patagonia, a sponsor of the program, has purchased 1,000 copies for its employees.
Free campus and community lectures and discussions about the book will begin on Feb. 13 at UCSB's Davidson Library and continue throughout the month in public libraries and at UCSB. A free presentation by the author is scheduled for March 5 on the UCSB campus.
Many of the world's T-shirts begin life as cotton in Texas before becoming T-shirts in places such as China. They re-enter the U.S. Market for sale and are eventually shipped to third world countries for resale.
Rivoli is a professor in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where she teaches finance and international business.
Her areas of specialization include social justice issues in international business and in China.
In 2006, Rivoli received a Faculty Pioneer Award from the Aspen Institute.
The award recognizes business school professors who have been leaders in the integration of social and environmental issues into MBA curricula.
"Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy" has received numerous awards, including being named one of the best business books of the year by the Financial Times, an international business newspaper published in London.
It was also designated the best scholarly book of 2005 by the American Association of Publishers in the category of Finance and Economics.
Translations into 12 languages are under way.
Additional sponsors of the UCSB Libraries program are John Wiley and Sons, Inc., publisher of the book, and the following UCSB entities: Arts & Lectures, the College of Letters and Science, the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the Global and International Studies Program, and the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.
For a complete list of upcoming UCSB Reads activities, visit: <ucsbreads.library.ucsb.edu/events.html>