By Bob Ortega
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.
Small damages, clean from the inside