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In Sam We Trust: The Untold Story of Sam Walton and Wal-Mart, the World's Most Powerful Retailer

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If bigger is better, Wal-Mart has rightfully won its leading position in the pantheon of international institutions. With more than 100 million customers a week, Wal-Mart is by far the world's largest retailer. It is the biggest private-sector employer in North America, and one of the most dominant and influential corporations anywhere. Sam Walton's company prides itself o If bigger is better, Wal-Mart has rightfully won its leading position in the pantheon of international institutions. With more than 100 million customers a week, Wal-Mart is by far the world's largest retailer. It is the biggest private-sector employer in North America, and one of the most dominant and influential corporations anywhere. Sam Walton's company prides itself on being a paragon of service, integrity, and frugality to its customers. But all is not well in the many areas where people have been "Wal-Martized" and have faced Wal-Mart's controversial business practices. In Sam We Trust is the true, unvarnished story of the Wal-Mart colossus at work, and of how its remarkable success illustrates the glory as well as the underbelly of American capitalism. A flinty workaholic obsessed with his stores at the expense of his personal life, Walton established the ruthlessly efficient strategy that enabled Wal-Mart to surpass Sears, outsmart Kmart, and crush small-town mom-and-pop stores. Bob Ortega, a veteran reporter who covered Wal-Mart extensively for The Wall Street Journal, has written an illuminating and authoritative account of the world's most powerful store, and of how Sam Walton's way of thinking is transforming America's -- and the world's -- business practices, workplaces, and communities.


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If bigger is better, Wal-Mart has rightfully won its leading position in the pantheon of international institutions. With more than 100 million customers a week, Wal-Mart is by far the world's largest retailer. It is the biggest private-sector employer in North America, and one of the most dominant and influential corporations anywhere. Sam Walton's company prides itself o If bigger is better, Wal-Mart has rightfully won its leading position in the pantheon of international institutions. With more than 100 million customers a week, Wal-Mart is by far the world's largest retailer. It is the biggest private-sector employer in North America, and one of the most dominant and influential corporations anywhere. Sam Walton's company prides itself on being a paragon of service, integrity, and frugality to its customers. But all is not well in the many areas where people have been "Wal-Martized" and have faced Wal-Mart's controversial business practices. In Sam We Trust is the true, unvarnished story of the Wal-Mart colossus at work, and of how its remarkable success illustrates the glory as well as the underbelly of American capitalism. A flinty workaholic obsessed with his stores at the expense of his personal life, Walton established the ruthlessly efficient strategy that enabled Wal-Mart to surpass Sears, outsmart Kmart, and crush small-town mom-and-pop stores. Bob Ortega, a veteran reporter who covered Wal-Mart extensively for The Wall Street Journal, has written an illuminating and authoritative account of the world's most powerful store, and of how Sam Walton's way of thinking is transforming America's -- and the world's -- business practices, workplaces, and communities.

30 review for In Sam We Trust: The Untold Story of Sam Walton and Wal-Mart, the World's Most Powerful Retailer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Howard Cruz

    A truly informative novel coming across with facts and truths that can marvel the mind. An enlightening book, which shows the truth without pushing you to believe one thing or another, and lets you decide for yourself what you think instead of pushing the author's thoughts on you as if it were the only way to think. I really loved this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Neil Collins

    An in depth and detailed look at the worlds biggest retail company. Ortega does into amazing detail about the history of many people's lives as well as other related companies and organizations, giving more of a complete understanding of the retail industry in general.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    I just finished reading Nickel and Dimed, and it reminded me about this book. Ortega's narrative, especially his explanation of how Walmart pretty much forced U.S. manufacturers to go oversees by pressuring them to lower their costs, has left an imprint on me. He also explores the Sam Walton deity-ifcation and the myth Walmart once created about only selling American made goods.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deb Rankin-moore

    If you can't live without Wal-Mart, this is a must read!! If you despise, abhor and loathe Wal-Mart, this is a must read!! Regardless on how you now feel about the store, you will be appalled at how they treat their employees and vendors. Sam Walton was not a good man.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erika Nerdypants

    A biography of WalMart, but in many ways also of corporate America. It shows some truly despicalbe practices that WalMart employs in order to bring us the cheapest product, but we're still buying, aren't we?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    A book that makes you angry as you read it and will change your shopping habits... but at the same time, you'll leave In Sam We Trust feeling a small amount of admiration for Sam Walton.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Parag Gandhi

    This is the BEST book I have ever read...Simply Inspirational....

  8. 4 out of 5

    Devin

    Cautionary tale exposing Wallmart's evils and the compartmentalized christianity of Sam Walton

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Dern

    Excellent.

  10. 4 out of 5

    C. Scott

    A serious, thorough, warts-and-all look at Wal-Mart and its founder Sam Walton. The early part of the book feels like a crash course in retail. I really enjoyed reading about early pioneers like James Cash Penney and Montgomery Ward. It was also amusing to learn how the seeds of failure were planted decades ago by K-Mart and Sears. Wal-Mart is a leviathan today because Sam Walton made the right choices back in the 1950s and 1960s when his company was very small. It wasn't that he was a genius nec A serious, thorough, warts-and-all look at Wal-Mart and its founder Sam Walton. The early part of the book feels like a crash course in retail. I really enjoyed reading about early pioneers like James Cash Penney and Montgomery Ward. It was also amusing to learn how the seeds of failure were planted decades ago by K-Mart and Sears. Wal-Mart is a leviathan today because Sam Walton made the right choices back in the 1950s and 1960s when his company was very small. It wasn't that he was a genius necessarily, but his need to constantly drive down costs and embrace innovations wherever possible paid off in the long run. Today Wal-Mart is the biggest employer in the US and the world leader in revenue - sitting at number one on the Fortune 500 list. This book makes an interesting case study: Is Wal-Mart good for America? Even with all their success, does society benefit? Their employees are often paid poverty level wages. Overseas suppliers have frequently employed sweatshop and child labor. Communities can see as much as 75 percent of existing retail business wither and die once Wal-Mart rolls into town. At the same time Wal-Mart often hoodwinks those same communities into giving them tax abatements and TIF deals that erode the tax base. Is the price of a cheap package of socks really worth the cost that Wal-Mart imposes on our society? I would encourage you to read this book and develop an informed opinion yourself.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Srini Ranganathan

    Very well researched and written. Great history of US retail

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Kahn

  13. 5 out of 5

    eddie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lukas

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anne B

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael Coté

  18. 4 out of 5

    Arlene Kennedy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek Kumar

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Louise Mengelkoch

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Ketchell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dee Bee

  25. 5 out of 5

    TMcB

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim Brunk

  27. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Grossman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robert

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