Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

Making It in America

Best Seller
Making It in America by Rachel Slade
Hardcover $28.00
Jan 09, 2024 | ISBN 9780593316887

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Jan 09, 2024 | ISBN 9780593316887

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Jan 09, 2024 | ISBN 9780593316894

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Making It in America

Product Details


One of Cosmopolitan’s 14 Best Nonfiction Books Coming Out in 2024
Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick in Business and Economics
One of the Next Big Idea Book Club’s 40 Nonfiction Books to Look Out for in 2024
One of the Financial Times’ Best Business Books of the Month

“An enlightening look at the history of manufacturing in America and how we got to where we are today.”

“By following the Waxmans over years as they build their business — and more than once come close to losing everything — Slade tells a story of trade, globalization, capital, labor and the political choices that have led to American manufacturing’s decline, and makes an impassioned case for its return.”
The New York Times

“Persuasively argue[d] . . . Slade’s book gives a granular sense of just how hard it is for business owners, particularly those in manufacturing, to do the right thing by their workers in America today. It also conveys just how meaningful and rewarding building a truly ethical business can be, for owners and workers alike . . . its broader political resonance is potent and timely.”
—The Washington Post

“A timely examination of the difficulty of reviving manufacturing in the US . . . Slade explores the imprint that decades of neoliberalism and offshoring has left on America’s worker and economic resilience through the Waxmans’ compelling story. From Ben’s idealistic youth working for unions to the couple’s drives up the eastern seaboard in search of the last vestiges of the American textile network, Made-in-USA enthusiasts and free-trade hawks alike will be rooting for this couple to succeed.”
—Financial Times

“Excellent . . . I have been waiting with great anticipation for many months for this book to come out, and I’m pleased to report that it was worth the wait. Making It in America is a treasure trove of fascinating, relevant historical information—a Buy American manifesto disguised as a narrative. It’s both a delight and an education to see how Rachel puts all the information together and how she chooses to construct it.”
—Greg Olear, Prevail podcast and newsletter, author of Dirty Rubles

“An incisive look at the history and current state of American manufacturing. . . . This galvanizing call for Americans ‘to start making things for themselves’ serves as both a sweeping report on a globalized industry and a practical road map for aspiring small-scale manufacturers. Readers will feel invigorated.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Both provides a wealth of background information on the rise and fall of manufacturing in America and tells a story of rebellious entrepreneurship, one full of hope, determination, and the American spirit.”

“[A] page-turning chronicle . . . Slade is an experienced and insightful storyteller.”
Boston Business Journal 

“Reads almost like a drama.”
—News Center Maine

“At turns rousing and heartbreaking, Making It in America takes the reader on a journey that is both encyclopedic and intimate, through the wastelands of America’s lost manufacturing might, and the jobs, families and communities that were crushed in the process.  As we ride on the shoulders of Ben and Whitney Waxman, who wanted nothing more than to make a sweatshirt ethically in America and pay their workers a fair wage, Slade’s revelatory account brings home the greed and immense global forces bearing down on average Americans, and how a plucky duo battled to retain their integrity.”
— Katherine Eban, author of Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

“A knowledgeable indictment of failed American trade and labor policies, Rachel Slade’s timely book, powered by her admirable skills as a storyteller, also provides a much-needed glimpse of a potentially fairer, more equitable future for American workers and consumers.”
—Philip Dray, author of There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America

Table Of Contents

Preamble: The Traffic Jam That Never Ends xi

Introduction: The High Cost of Cheap Stuff 3
Maine Roots 30
This Kid Is Okay 50
Greed Is a Real Thing 61
Witness 77
She’s Outta Your League 81
Reboot 91
Let’s Make Something 99
Game On 104
New Americans 116
A Brief History of the Hoodie 132
Just Pull It and It’s Done 14
54 Operations 149
Can You Make 5,000? 158
The Fabric King of 38th Street 165
Follow the River 172
It Takes Chutzpah 186
Pandemic Panic Along Route 66 199
We’ll Come Back 209
We Gotta Shut Up and Listen 220
An Omen 226
Cornering the Cotton Market 231
Labor Pains 239
Your Job Is to Produce 271
The Never-Ending Quest for Smart Money 285
Epilogue 293
Acknowledgments 307
Bibliography 311
Index 319

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Back to Top