The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business
Wal-Mart is the world’s largest company and it sets the standard--both social and commercial--for a huge swath of the global economy.In this probing investigation, historian Nelson Lichtenstein shows how the company's success has spread evangelical Protestantism into the workplace, made South China an American workshop, and pushed American politics to the right. At the sam...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Picador
(first published July 21st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 160)
Sep 12, 2010 Michelle rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
The first section is the background on Sam Walton and all his innovations in retail. It was a little dry. Then, there are chapters on the anti-union stance, the factories in China, and the international spread of Wal-Mart, among others. It was interesting and informative, but not the most engaging. I kept thinking about the New Yorker and how they must have done a (much more interesting) profile on Walton and/or Wal-Mart.
I believe that criticisms need to be not only substantiated, but also based on premises that are either established or understood. Based on that belief, I did not think this was a good book. The author cited criticisms of Wal-Mart about how they were anti-union or other supposed problems. But the author never took it to the next step of showing why being anti-union fulfilled his premise that Wal-Mart was bad. I, for one, was glad that Wal-Mart had so much success against the unions. The author t...more
Fascinating presentation by this author on Fresh Air today. He seems very even-handed. Great sources of data. Says that, yes, Walmart does offer lower prices, but only on 20% of the things we buy. The other 80% --- health care, housing, transportation, eduction --- we can't buy there, so their lower prices have no overall effect on much of the economy. And their workers are hurt, because the low wages they offer make it very difficult for the workers to buy these necessities. Walmart has also el...more
Great and easy to read work. The author does not offer another typical Walmart-bashing book that the market seems flooded with. Instead he offers a critique of the transformation of the modern retail industry with Walmart at the epicenter and also provides a criticism of Walmart's approach to labor relations.