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

Extended Audio Sample The Wal-Mart Effect: How the Worlds Most Powerful Company Really Works--and How Its Transforming the American Economy Audiobook, by Charles Fishman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,633 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Fishman Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9781400172238
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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 number-one 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 Charles 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 former executives; he entered 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A must-read if one is even to begin understanding the global dominance of Wal-Mart.”

    Washington Post

  • “The best Wal-Mart expose yet…as measured by depth and breadth of research, writing style, and evenhanded treatment.”

    Denver Post

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/20/2014

    " While I read this because it is relevant to work - I would recommend this book to anyone. It's amazing how much WM shapes our lives, even if you have never stepped foot into one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Sacco | 2/18/2014

    " Very Interesting book. You will look around and think more the next time you shop at Wal-Mart. Many company's have had to close, and even more people have been put out of work. These is something to be said for low prices but at what cost. Heres an example, Levis Jeans are now sold at Wal-Mart. Next time your looking for a pair check out the weight of the denim as compared to a pair bought in a Levis store. Wal-Mart has their own lightweight denim Levi has to use in order to sell at their demanded price. The light jeans tear easy the belt loops break away and the zippers break. Thats not Levis trademark. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 2/14/2014

    " This book is a little dated now, but it still makes for a good read. Practices that are fine in a small business take a different tone when used in one of the world's top companies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 1/23/2014

    " This book was very eye-opening to me! Everyone needs to read it and do all they can to boycott WalMart. I wish I had written it. (I got my mom's book club to read it) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 1/9/2014

    " eye-opening .. listened to the CD but would definitely read the book again "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry | 12/23/2013

    " This is a fascinating book on the impact of Wal-Mart on the entire globe. It points out in a powerful way how the quest for lower prices impacts incomes, the environment, trade imbalance and the overall quality of life in the US. (It is probably adversely affecting us.) The secretive style limits the ability to have informed public debate about the merits of tax supported incentives to get Wal-Mart to build a store. Their very actions smack of anti-competitiveness due to their gargantuan size! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Hecklinger | 12/17/2013

    " Great dispassionate review of Wal-Mart and its micro and macro effects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellie | 12/14/2013

    " Well-balanced look at the effect of Wal-Mart on the national and global economies, as well as its societal and cultural effects. Could have been improved by adding some analysis of online-retail, especially Amazon.com. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Randy Ray | 12/11/2013

    " A fascinating book. From the perspective of an entrepreneur, I'm dazzled by Wal-mart's efficiencies. From the perspective of a citizen, I'm scare of Wal-mart's potentially negative effects on the "general welfare". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 11/29/2013

    " I have gone from hating Wal-mart to thinking they are the devil. They have way too much control over their supplies. People don't realize that they get cheaper more disposable products at and because of Wal-mart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stella | 11/26/2013

    " Listened to book on CD. I found it very interesting, mostly unbiased, and greatly unsettling. It makes you think about the bigger picture, and makes you realize how a seemingly mundane decision (like where you buy your deodorant) can affect the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lara | 11/12/2013

    " informative- explains the phenomenon of Wal Mart with several vignettes / anecdotes. fairly neutral while, showing, of course, Walmart's tendency to disrupt (and not in a good way) local economies. contains the facts you need to know to talk disparagingly about Wal Mart "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron Christiansen | 7/7/2013

    " An indictment of Walmart practices which seems to have little effect on this conglomerate of a company. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 4/25/2013

    " I read this on flight last night and couldn't put it down. A thoughtful, balanced account of the "evil empire." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrea | 3/10/2013

    " Very factual, not exactly fun to read but very informative "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia T. | 12/10/2012

    " What an eye-opener. Everyone should read this to see how negative the Walmart methodology is to our world. All we know is that the prices are low, but why, and to whose expense? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 9/8/2012

    " Fear and respect Wal-Mart! Also, develop a bit more sympathy for it and understand just how important it's been to the American economy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 8/27/2012

    " This book only confirmed what I believed of Wal-Mart but it was also insightful into the larger economical effect of Wal-Mart and buying locally versus overseas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karin | 8/6/2012

    " Every American needs to read this book.If you want a justifyable reason to get totally bent out of shape,this book will do it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alena | 2/18/2012

    " Regardless of your opinion of shopping at WalMart, it has caused a ripple in the way the world economy works and this book is a fascinating looks at that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 12/11/2011

    " Once you read this book, you will never shop at Walmart again. It shows how why and how those prices are so low. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tinae Goodell | 6/7/2011

    " I LOVE THIS BOOK! I am totally not sure if i want to shop there anymore.. Walmart is really taking over the world and guess what? There is NOTHING we can do about it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 4/20/2011

    " Intriguing, but I don't need much more support to dislike Wal-Mart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 4/8/2011

    " Interesting facts and figures on the mega-company Wal-Mart. I think it's very worrying that it has so much influence on America (and the world), with it's on-going 'lower prices at any cost' policy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 3/5/2011

    " An indictment of Walmart practices which seems to have little effect on this conglomerate of a company. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karin | 1/24/2011

    " Every American needs to read this book.If you want a justifyable reason to get totally bent out of shape,this book will do it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 10/6/2010

    " A must-read. Lots of thought-provoking questions. "

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About the Author

Charles Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. Fishman has won numerous awards, including three Gerald Loeb Awards, the most prestigious award in business journalism. He grew up in Miami, Florida, and went to Harvard. Fishman lives outside Philadelphia with his wife, also a journalist, their two children, their two Labradors, and their two parakeets. 

About the Narrator

Alan Sklar, a graduate of Dartmouth, has excelled in his career as a freelance voice actor. He began narrating audiobooks in 1996, winning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and earning several “Best Voice” awards. He has also worked as a stage actor and as a promo announcer at WPIX-TV in New York City. His dream is to be an opera singer, a role for which he hones his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his home.