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7

SATURDAY

Watching a 1999 Georgetown anti-globalization rally, Pietra Rivoli heard a young protester ask the crowd, “Who made your T-shirt?” Embracing the challenge, the self-termed “classically trained financial and international economist” and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business professor sets out to find an answer in her new book, The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade. Tracing a $5.99 parrot-themed souvenir shirt’s journey from its roots in West Texas cotton country to a bin at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Walgreens, Rivoli stops in China (where the shirt is manufactured) and Tanzania (home to a vibrant trade in castoff American clothing) along the way. Though not short on interesting tidbits of the American-growers-once-tried-to-train-monkeys-to-pick-cotton sort, the book is more valuable in its observation that hope lies not so much in the eventual triumph of either pro- or anti-globalization forces, but in the continuation of the “unintentional conspiracy” of the two: Though corporations and skeptics ultimately need each other, she writes, “the Asian sweatshop worker and African cotton farmer need them both.” Rivoli speaks at 1 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Joe Dempsey)