Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest company; it is also the largest company in the history of the world. Though 70 percent of Americans now live within a 15-minute drive of a Wal-Mart store, we have not even begun to understand the true power of the company and the many ways it is shaping American life. We know about the lawsuits and the labor protests, but what we don't know is how profoundly the "Wal-Mart effect" is shaping our lives.
Fast Company senior editor Fishman, whose revelatory cover story on Wal-Mart generated the strongest reader response in the history of the magazine, takes us on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes investigative expedition deep inside the many worlds of Wal-Mart. Fishman penetrated the secrecy of Wal-Mart headquarters, interviewing 25 high-level ex-executives. He journeyed into the world of a host of Wal-Mart's suppliers to uncover how the company strong-arms even the most established brands. And he journeyed to the ports and factories, the fields and forests where Wal-Mart's power is warping the very structure of the world's market for goods.
Wal-Mart is not just a retailer anymore, Fishman argues. It has become a kind of economic ecosystem, and anyone who wants to understand the forces shaping our world today must understand the company's hidden reach.
©2006 Charles Fishman; (P)2006 Tantor Media Inc.
"In the end, Fishman sees Wal-Mart as neither good nor evil, but simply a fact of modern life that can barely be comprehended, let alone controlled." (Publishers Weekly)
"He brings to light the serious repercussions that are occurring as consumers and suppliers have become locked in an addiction to massive sales of cheaper and cheaper goods." (Booklist)
I found this book very interesting. It was able to strike a good balance of communicating information but using stories and examples to do it. It doesn't just bash Walmart but is thoughtfully researched and presented. I think many wonder about the impact of a company like Walmart and this helps answer that question. I found I had to answer the question for myself, "Should I shop at Walmart?". The book lets you be the judge. The one negative is that is about a decade old now.
Insightful, thought provoking, and eye opening to the far reach one company can have in today's world. This is 10 years old now...would be nice to see an update, which is why I only gave this a 3 start rating.
Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary
I bought this book hoping to hear an impartial description of the social and economic atmosphere leading up to the boom of large stores such as Walmart and Target, as well as the subsequent impact these stores have had on the people that work for them and the businesses they displace. Instead, this book only briefly discusses criticisms against Walmart (i.e. the poor wages paid to their employees) before embarking on lengthy justifications for why this is "necessary" for the chain to do in order to continue supplying ridiculously cheap items for their customers. In addition, the author repeatedly shared mundane stories about the numerous times that he had shopped at Walmart.
I am not sure if this author was hired by Walmart to write a book defending their questionable business practices or if he just loves Walmart. I all fairness, I could not finish the book as I was too disgusted with the propaganda that filled the first few hours of listening, so it is possible that at some point Mr. Fishman begins to provide a more objective account of his subject.
Love to listen to and read my favorite genres.
I never realized before why several family members refuse to shop at Walmart. I also never realized that there really is a "Walmart effect" and it isn't simply a made up tale.
That said, this book is slow in some places. It seems to drone on and on about a few things, but it picks back up again. If it slows, hang in there or skip to the next chapter. Be warned, you will miss valuable insight.
I loved the narrator after I got used to his cadence, it was off putting at first, but after the first five minutes, the story grabbed me and I did not care.
I won't give you spoilers but I will say that I am saddened for the places shut down because of Walmart. My heart breaks for the people who work there and who are forced to work there because there are not that many other options. I am sad that the economy driven world we live in would prefer to save a nickel, knowing that we leave our fellow humans in poverty.
I am not judging, I realize that times are rough, those of us struggling to survive can purchase items more cheaply at Walmart. Just remember, those products are less because the quality is often less. Pay attention to the items that falls apart soon after purchase. Pay attention to the quality, and realize that your item purchased here is likely to be less sturdy than one purchased for a dollar more elsewhere.
The money you save is money leaving someone else's pocket. If you can live with it after reading this book, you have weaker morals than I.
Yes, I would to get the facts and stories correct in order to share with others about the real Walmart Effect.
Learning how fast Wal-mart grew and how the basic mission of Sam Walton was "low prices everyday is reflected and carried out today. .
..It is real and growing
I really enjoyed the first half of the book which seemed to be more of an overview and factual about Walmart. The second half of the book became more preachy and politically correct. I do have a better understanding of Walmart and the unceasing debate
Love or hate Wal-Mart you will be shocked, and pleasantly surprised by how Wal-Mart truly works. As a long haul driver for Wal-mart, I am a true product of the Wal-mart effect. if you think you're not....listen to this book...you may be very surprised.
Very biased view of Walmart and large corporations in general. The author appears to have very little understanding of basic economics. He claims Walmart is a monopoly when it only controls 20 - 30% of the market. The book eventually devolves into a rant against the free market and need for government regulation.
I learned a little and there are a few valid criticisms, but overall this is a very biased rant against Walmart.
Don't waste your credits, I'm headed to Walmart to pick a few things up now!
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