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It employs one of every 115 American workers. If it were a nation-state, it would be one of the world's top twenty economies. With yearly sales of nearly $260 billion and an average way of $8 an hour, Wal-Mart represents an ...
It employs one of every 115 American workers. If it were a nation-state, it would be one of the world's top twenty economies. With yearly sales of nearly $260 billion and an average way of $8 an hour, Wal-Mart represents an unprecedented-and perhaps unstoppable-force in capitalism. And there have been few corporations that have evoked the same levels of reverence and ire.
The United States of Wal-Mart is a hard-hitting examination of how Sam Walton's empire has infiltrated not just the geography of America but also its consciousness. Peeling away layers of propaganda and politics, investigative journalist John Dicker reveals an American (and, increasingly, a global) story that has no clear-cut villains or heroes-one that could be the confused, complicated story of America itself.
Pitched battles between economic progress and quality of life, between the preservation of regional identity and national homogeneity, and between low prices and the dignity of the American worker are beginning to coalesce into an all-out war to define our modern era. And, Dicker argues, Wal-Mart is winning. Revealing that the company's business practices have been shaping American culture, including the nation's social, political, and industrial policy, The United States of Wal-Mart provides fresh insight into a controversy that isn't going away.
|Introduction : the United States of Wal-Mart||1|
|1||Size matters (now more than ever)||9|
|2||"Most versatile boy" : how Sam Walton became an ethos||33|
|3||The growth machine||54|
|4||Wal-Marts behaving badly, I||79|
|5||Wal-Marts behaving badly, II||90|
|6||Proceeds from the sale of this item help move jobs to Guangdong! : Wal-Mart goes global||113|
|8||It's Wal-Mart world after all||142|
|9||Taming the beast||160|
|10||Race, class, and cul-de-sac radicals : saying no to Wal-Mart||178|
|11||Land of the white, blue, and you||206|
Posted May 21, 2012
I first shopped at a Wal-Mart south of Moore, Okla., in 1983. I had just been assigned to Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City. That store must have been one of the handful of original Wal-Marts. In any case, the retail giant (as the author of this fine book makes clear) has killed untold numbers of downtowns across the U.S. And even independent, locally owned and operated groceries like Agosti's in Hometown, Pa.have shutdown soon after a Wal-Mart Supercenter opened nearby. So, before you visit a Supercenter, give this book a read and you wil lhave second thoughts.
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Posted November 7, 2005
There are a lot of things to dislike about Wal-Mart, which is why I choose not to shop there. But Mr. Dicker's book is fraught with ignorance. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chapter 9, wherein the author feigns shock that a Democrat would be elected to congress in 1930's Texas - surely no surprise if one knows anything of the history of the American political parties. Then he goes on to cite the congressional movement against grocery giant A&P, bemoaning the lack of a similar movement against Wal-Mart today. Lost in his argument is the fact that A&P, like all business behemoths, eventually faded without legislative intrusion. As will Wal-Mart in due time.
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