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Wal-Mart isn’t just the world’s biggest company, it is probably the world’s most written-about. But no book until this one has managed to penetrate its wall of silence or go beyond the usual polemics to analyze its actual effects on its customers, workers, and suppliers. Drawing on unprecedented interviews with former Wal-Mart executives and a wealth of staggering data (e.g., Americans spend $36 million an hour at Wal-Mart stores, and in 2004 its growth alone was bigger than the total revenue of 469 of the Fortune 500), The Wal-Mart Effectis an intimate look at a business that is dramatically reshaping our lives.
Charles Fishman has been a senior editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer and is now a senior editor at Fast Company. In 2005 he won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism.