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The Song of the Shirt


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About the Author

Jeremy Seabrook is the author of more than forty books on subjects as diverse as transnational prostitution, child labour, social class, ageing, unemployment and poverty. His most recent include People Without History, a report from India s Muslim slums, and The Refuge and the Fortress: Britain and the Flight from Tyranny, a study of academic refugees between 1933 and the present day.


'Few writers are at once as lyrical or as precise about the living conditions of peasants and indigents. Seabrook's clear-eyed accounts of the immiseration as well as the dreams of young Bangladeshis are informed by extended conversations with scholars and activists, as well as historical research. ... What makes The Song of the Shirt especially important is its historical consciousness. ... Seabrook draws out the social, economic and imaginative parallels that connected, across decades and continents, Europe's and Asia s poor. ... Seabrook has established himself as perhaps Britain's finest anatomist of class, deindustrialisation, migration and the spiritual consequences of neoliberalism. The Song of the Shirt may well be his masterpiece.' * The Guardian *
'Stitches together history, folklore and hundreds of encounters with individual Bangladeshis to give a thorough picture of the structural injustices that have led to the present situation.' * The New Statesman *
'The sweat and blood of Bangladeshi garment workers is woven into the very fabric of our daily lives. Seabrook, as he always has, delivers a brilliantly written jeremiad with an urgent moral message.' * Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums *
'At once illuminating, deeply absorbing, and sobering, this is an ode to the rags of humanity the labourers, young and old who sometimes perish in order to create our fashionably casual clothes. It's written by one who has long been intimate with this part of the world and its anonymous dwellers, and who has responded always with passion and eloquence.' * Amit Chaudhuri, author of Calcutta: Two Years in the City *

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