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Sam Walton: Made In America

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  20,637 ratings  ·  859 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
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
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
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. Sa ...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
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 f
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.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF at 65%.

Sam Walton was a weird fucking man. A terrible man, of course; career billionaire who stole and profited from his workers [he even admits it in this book!], anti-union [surprise, surprise], corporatist, responsible for one of the worst atrocities of capitalism: Wal-Mart.

He wants you to sympathize with him. I lost count of how many times in this book he touts the "well sure i'm a billionaire but i still am just a good ol' country boy like some of you." Lost in-between those ramblings
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Sam Walton is the founder of the worlds biggest company Walmart with now over 2 million employees. He basically grown up selling stuff and he knew very early in life that he wanted to work in the retail business. He involved almost the whole family in his career and earlier businesses which he already had founded before he created his great idea called Walmart.

I read a good amount of biographies of successful business people and obviously there are many parallels between them both in personalit
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
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book for people who want to open their own service/business.

Sam Walton is owner of WalMart. He changed retailing industry and brought current chain stores' standards.

1. Find and hire right people and talents even they did not graduate fancy colleges or universities. Implement "Kaizen way" within your team and company.
2. Be competitive. Check what your competitives do. Specially concentrate on what they are doing right.
3. Be innovative. Think about how you can make new technologies or concept
May Ling
Sam Walton really was one of the great business leaders of the last century. I had no idea that he had started Walmart well into his 40's. Makes me feel young, just when I was starting to feel old in my career.

The major theme of this book could not be louder, it's all about the customer. The nuance of how Sam Walton thought of it is quite clear. He means specifically: The customer - in his case, small town America, not the slightly more affluent of Urban America - wants good quality product for
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.

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.
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.
The author has painted an interesting landscape of the dynamics of the retail industry & his plan to become the best retailer, along with a fair share of self-aggrandizement and too many unnecessary positive endorsements from various people who have interacted with him.

1. He is a very competitive person who values the customers & employees. He also believes in saving every dollar:

"But sometimes I'm asked why today, when Wal-Mart has been so successful,
when we're a $50 billion-plus comp
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 I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s 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 everyb
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 Walmart´s founder:
- You can learn something from everyone. He is not embarrassed to admit that “most of everything I´ve done I copied from somebody else”. He used to say to his managers an
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Living in NWA, I see the ripple effect Sam Walton has had in the area first hand. He really changed Arkansas and put it on the map. I’ve met multiple people who personally knew Sam and only have great things to say about him. Everyone loves to hear about someone living the American Dream, starting something incredible out of nothing, and Sam’s commitment to the customer was unparalleled. A good, quick read— one that emphasizes the importance of the free market and the effect it can have on indiv ...more
Hamide meraj
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book of founder of Wall-Mart is a classic biography book of a very successful business. It was fascinating to learn from the man that how he built one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, from scratch! It was great and wonderful. Sam is a great man with strong values, despite all of the successes and failures Sam never sacrificed his core values. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to start their own business.
Sam's principles for creating a business:

1. Commit t
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.

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 ! ...more
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.
BuenoBomb aka Andre 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).

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
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 20’s, 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 Bentonvil
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. I’ve ready many, so this simple paperback seemed like a good fit.

This simple paperback. A genuine Walmart product if ever I’ve 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 book’s spine began to be crinkled, yellow highlights and blac
Joshua R. 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 qui
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 sale
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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. ...more

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  In most romances, a romp in the hay comes after many chapters of meeting cute, silent pining, and steamy banter. Not so for books that...
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“Sam Walton: I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” 15 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.” 12 likes
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