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The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works and How It's Transforming the American Economy

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Charles Fishman

Narrated By: Alan Sklar

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: February 2006

Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes

Summary:

Award-winning journalist Charles Fishman breaks through the wall of secrecy to reveal the many astonishing ways Wal-Mart's power affects our lives and reaches all around the world.

The Wal-Mart Effect: The overwhelming impact of the world's largest company--due to its relentless pursuit of low prices--on retailers and manufacturers, wages and jobs, the culture of shopping, the shape of our communities, and the environment; a global force of unprecedented nature. Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest company; it is also the largest company in the history of the world. Americans spend $26 million every hour at Wal-Mart, twenty-four hours of every day, every day of the year. Is the company a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, market guru Warren Buffett estimates that the company's low prices save American consumers $10 billion a year. On the other, the behemoth is the #1 employer in thirty-seven of the fifty states yet has never let a union in the door.

Though 70 percent of Americans now live within a fifteen-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 takes us on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes investigative expedition deep inside the many worlds of Wal-Mart. He reveals the radical ways in which the company is transforming America's economy, our workforce, our communities, and our environment. Fishman penetrated the secrecy of Wal-Mart headquarters, interviewing twenty-five 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 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.

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  • Slava

    I think this book is a must read for anyone. Doesn't matter where you shop. Most of retailers follow same suit. Just Wal-Mart is easier to pick on. After reading this book you start to really think what you buy and how you use earth resources. Not having to waste food no matter how cheap it is may be the first step. And you may want to do that after you learn how Wal-Mart achieves those low prices.

  • Daniel Taibi

    I am working on starting a company that will sell products and services to Walmart, so to me, this was a gem of a book! But for everyone else, I think it provides an unbiased and thought provoking look at the pros and cons of a huge company with a fanatical obsession with price reduction. It is LONG --- 9 disks! So, it is not a "fun" book to kill time ... likely it will kill you by putting you to sleep. :(

  • Michael Schneider

    Wow! It never occurred to me that one company could have this large amount of an impact on our society. This book was interesting and enlightening. I will always look at Wal-Mart a little differently now. Scary facts about how a huge company can control vendors and even countries economies.

  • Anonymous

    The Wal Mart Effect is a interesting look into a company that is very difficult to gain information about. The book will leave you amazed at how Wal-Mart has achieved distribution efficiencies and controls the market for so many goods (i.e. salmon, for example). The author is fair in presenting the "good" and "bad" of Wal-Mart. Overall, it is an interesting book; however, there is some "dry academic" studies which may have your mind wondering.

Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works and How It's Transforming the American Economy

by Charles Fishman

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Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works and How It's Transforming the American Economy, Charles Fishman