“First God, then family, then Wal-Mart!”- The Retail Revolution: How Walmart created a brave new world of business (2009) by Professor Nelson Lichtenstein is an interesting book about Walmart, the lagest retailer worldwide. Professor Lichtenstein is a professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy at the University of California- Santa Barbara.
The book is about 300 pages and covers a lot of ground. The (brief) first part of the book is about the creation of Walmart and how the idea of Walmart was rooted in Sam Walton’s earlier experiences. The second part of the book shifts towards discussing the ‘unethical-like’ practices at Walmart, especially with hiring and promotion of women, labor relations, and employee retention. The last part of the book is about Walmart’s relevance and ability to compete effectively in the new, 21st century, globalized world.
There is no dearth of books on Walmart, as one can imagine! The USP of Professor Lichtenstein’s book is that it is quite up-to-date (even provides some examples from after the current eceonomic crisis started), does a decent job discussing Walmart’s relationship with China, and describes events and stories in a reader-friendly fun style. It also spends only a little time discussing how Sam Walton created Walmart (a story that has been told many times before). Students of business, particularly those who want to understand the retailing industry better, would benefit from reading this book.