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Sam Walton: Made In America

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  16,147 ratings  ·  713 reviews
The autobiography of Wal-Mart Founder Sam Walton
Paperback, 346 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Bantam (first published 1992)
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Patrick Peterson He only wrote this one book to explain his marvelous story of his life and success before he died. If Sam Walton wrote and spoke more, as Peter Thiel…moreHe only wrote this one book to explain his marvelous story of his life and success before he died. If Sam Walton wrote and spoke more, as Peter Thiel is doing now for his own ideas on business, to explain just how positive the WalMart story is, perhaps more people would understand and fewer would be so ignorant or vicious.(less)

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Patrick Peterson
Just in case you might not realize it, the huge Walmart corporation was actually started and grown quite large by one main individual and his name was Sam Walton. This book is his personal and business story and I Highly recommended it!

My 14 yr. old son and I listened to the audio version and it was fantastic! There were incredibly few places where Walton went against any libertarian principles that I could tell. And his explaining the nitty-gritty of motivating people and trying to get them to
...more
Dillon
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sam Walton was definitely the O.G. of retail. As mentioned in Brad Stone's book about Amazon, there's no doubt that Jeff Bezos took a number of pages out of San Walton's playbook. I enjoyed reading about his journey, his hard work and customer-first mentality, and how Wal-Mart completely changed the face of retail. There wasn't a lot of personal detail here, it was more a biography of Wal-Mart, kind of like how Walter Isaacson's book was more a biography of Apple than of Steve Jobs. The tone of ...more
Lora
Jul 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Hmm... I honestly don't know what I think about this book. There were some things about Sam Walton and his story that I loved: his enthusiasm, his drive, his sense of humor; and yet there were other things in the book or about his character that puzzled me. For example, the Wal-Mart culture that he repeatedly paints a picture of in the book sounds pretty phenomenal-- an environment of friendliness, down-home/small-town atmosphere, and creativity-- but I can't really say I've felt that vibe from ...more
Flor Espino
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Taking the book Sam Walton: Made in America off the shelf I started reading it and I was in for a surprise. Made in America is an All-American book about building a business that anyone could grow to enjoy. The thing that surprised me was that it was not at all boring because his style of writing. Being an autobiography it was a little out of my comfort zone because I am usually used to sticking with the dystopian genre. This book was nothing like any other business book that I had ever read. ...more
Tigran Mamikonian
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book of Sam Walton, founder of Wall-Mart, is classic biography book of very successfull businessman. This book and the one written by Hovard Shults from Starbuck's are treated to be MUST READ books for all retailers so that one understand what is success and how much it usually cost...

Would recommend to read this book to all business founders and owners. Here arethe ideas I really liked in the book:
1. Hands on approach to his business, down to each store, business unit - even if you are the
...more
Jason Navallo
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book! It was great to learn from the man himself on how he built one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, from scratch!

Liked it so much that I actually used it as a source in my book, Thrive: 30 Inspirational Rags-to-Riches Stories.
Mario Tomic
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those book that you have to have on your bookshelf. Sam Walton is a great example of a man with very strong values and principles, despite all of the success and failures Sam never sacrificed his core values. If I had to summarize the book into top 3 lessons this is what it would look like:
1. Be passionate about learning, Sam Walton learned so much from people around him, his co-workers and from all his competition and it was one of the key elements of his success.
2. Take action
...more
Dan
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Entrepreneurs, Start-ups, Business-minded individuals
Utilized Accelerated Reading Technique - as taught by Tai Lopez.

The story of Sam Walton, a man who could not sit still.

Take aways from this autobiography:
Understood the value of a dollar, grew up during the depression. Continued to be frugal through all his years. Made sure all his businesses also understood the value of a dollar. From an early age he worked multiple jobs, never stopped moving. He has an urge to win, to win at everything.

Sam built Walmart by copying. He didn't just merely copy
...more
Tim Chavel
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Being an employee at Wal-Mart now for almost three years I knew this is a book I wanted to read. I also enjoy reading books about companies especially if the author is the founder. Wal-Mart's story is a fantastic story of America's free enterprise. I will tell you that some of the things revealed in the book about employees were either not correct or they have changed through the years. I know for a fact that many have changed and I think Sam Walton would not be happy about some of the changes. ...more
Alex Poovathingal
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A brilliant tale of a startup which went on to become the largest company by revenue. The basic philosophies which Sam Walton brought into his retail and discount chains business has been a driving force behind this change. One of the most striking among them, I felt, was his lack of inhibitions to copy ideas. One of his favorite past times was to visit the stores of his competitors and figure out what works for them. Another was flying his plane around scouting for places to start new stores.

As
...more
Jeff Suwak
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to start their own business or reach for any big goal.

Forget about the politics of the company right now. To get too focused on that is to miss out on a book full of wisdom by an interesting, humble character.

There are lessons one can learn here about both business and life in general, and it's all written in a very simple style that flows easily and is a pleasure to read.

I really didn't know what to think when I picked up this book.
...more
P.S. Winn
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think Wal-mart has changed a lot from when Sam Walton first envisioned the store. I believe the founder was more of a home-spun character and sadly it seems to me that although employing many people the store has turned into a heartless monster.
Henrik Haapala
Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone Ive ever known. And once he sees hes wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction. p.50

It was a real blessing for me to be so green and ignorant, because it was from that experience that I learned a lesson which has stuck with me all through the years: you can learn from everybody.
...more
illy
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Sam Walton wrote this book to recount his fascinating story of how Walmart made it from a small-town America discount store to the present-day giant retailer. The tone of the book is informal, as if Sam Walton is right in front of you. That makes the book funny and engaging.

Some valuable insights I took from Walmarts founder:
- You can learn something from everyone. He is not embarrassed to admit that most of everything Ive done I copied from somebody else. He used to say to his managers and
...more
Jose Amezcua
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is one of the best books you can read. In this book you can learn some "universal" principles of success, like: Work hard, have mentors, learn of your mistakes, failure is a good thing, love your job, give value to the universe and break the rules !
Anuj Khandelwal
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. Parked it for the second time read sometime next year. Street smartness at its best! Not for those who love framework based consulting approaches to tackle simple problems in life. Wonderful principles on Value/discounted retailing.
Cameron Smith
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book about how Sam Walton started Wal-Mart and the various challenges they had in the early days.
André Bueno
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
One of the best business books I have been fortunate to read. The book was extremely hard to put down and the story told itself through Sam Walton's eyes. The inspiration and thrill of his journey can motivate anyone from his true account of constant and never ending improvement (kaizen).

CHAPTER NOTES:
Ch01: Learning to value the dollar
Hard work is the story behind Walmart
Overspending is the most common cause of corporate issues
Walmart is cheap and they stay on a restricted budget by controlling
...more
Robert Cowper-Coles
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that in a very simplified and American way, spells out the success of Walmart. As a child Sam Walton had a knack of selling, with his newspaper rounds (by employing two additional friends) created a profit of $5000. He then set up his own store in Newport in his mid 20s, which was a huge success, but due to his contract terms, the landlord forced Sam to sell the business to him.
Not letting this failure fell him, Sam set up a Ben Franklin (later rebranded Walmart) in Bentonvile
...more
Greg Kopstein
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was sitting on my shelf for a year or so and I figured why not - I opened the book, hoping for another solid book on business from a genuine success story. Ive ready many, so this simple paperback seemed like a good fit.

This simple paperback. A genuine Walmart product if ever Ive seen one. After several minutes of reading, I knew I needed a highlighter and a pen, which I carried everywhere for two weeks. Everywhere. The books spine began to be crinkled, yellow highlights and black pen
...more
Josh Taylor
A fun diversion into the world of American retail in 20th century.

Sam Walton... I don't think I have ever encountered a character as enthusiastic about retail as him! He (or his ghost writer) writes with such a passion for the mission he's trying to achieve. Every day to him seemed to be like another fun challenge. As an avid libertarian and laissez-faire capitalist, he believed strongly about pushing as much control to his employees (associates as he called them) as possible.

He also seemed
...more
Matt McAlear
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, business
A great book from a great man's perspective near the end of his life. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is how authentic it seems. Sam talks about his mistakes just about as often as his successes and is constantly giving credit to other people throughout the book. A few key takeaways:
- Every time we spend one dollar foolishly that's one dollar out of our customer's pockets. Every time we save them a dollar it puts us one more step ahead of our competition.
- Noone paid 5% of
...more
Kashif
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Why this book was written: To give us a glimpse into the life of a man who built a one store operation to a USD 500 Billion behemoth that is Walmart.

Synthesis: Sam Walton had a passion for retail. So he put his head down, concentrated on serving the customer with the best prices, treated his employees like partners, replicated business trends when he he had to and left his competition in the dust in the process.

Key Techniques:

- He used his small planes to spot new store locations way back in
...more
Geeta
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: is-available
Beautiful! Wish could give this book a 7 star rating (7 out of 5); it just would be incorrect mathematically ;-)
The old saying goes: a dying man never lies.
Mr. Sam Walton has done everyone a huge favor by writing this book, especially those in retail industry. He has been outright honest in admitting things that worked and did not work for his business. Pretty brave in expressing his views and venturing into areas where nobody would think of going - discounting in small towns with such a less
...more
Szymon Kulec
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
2 ouf of 5 - it was ok-ish.

While reading it I took a few notes of some interesting quotes, but beside that, it's just another "business book". Sam Walton built a discount empire - this is true, but this book does not convey anything applicable. Yeah, one can try to squeeze the dots and derive some general truths, but this could be done with any book (even not business ones). So this is a Walmart story, nothing beside it.

Taylor Owens
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading this I feel like I almost knew him myself, not exactly the most exciting read but knowing how he created his legacy and getting his personal thoughts and perspective was very interesting. He's someone I wish I could have met.
André Borges
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like other biographies, sometimes the story is lost in the authors thoughts. In the case of Sam Walton, thats great because you can see how his minds work. He talks a lot about Walmart and its philosophy, which is closely connected to his own. The fact that the book was written on a final stage of his life made the content more profound.
Jan Brinkmann
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
inspiring person he must have been.
Zahed
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great way to finish my 2017 reading year.
So many insights into retail - def one of the best books I've read this year.
Highly recommended.
Richard Baumer
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book captures the energy of Sam Walton and provides timeless insights on good management.
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Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club.

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Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts thro...
37 likes · 10 comments
“Sam Walton: I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” 12 likes
“Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea.” 8 likes
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