To Serve God and Wal-Mart

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-07
  • Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
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In the decades after World War II, evangelical Christianity nourished America’s devotion to free markets, free trade, and free enterprise. The history of Wal-Mart uncovers a complex network that united Sun Belt entrepreneurs, evangelical employees, Christian business students, overseas missionaries, and free-market activists. Through the stories of people linked by the world’s largest corporation, Bethany Moreton shows how a Christian service ethos powered capitalism at home and abroad.

While industrial America was built by and for the urban North, rural Southerners comprised much of the labor, management, and consumers in the postwar service sector that raised the Sun Belt to national influence. These newcomers to the economic stage put down the plough to take up the bar-code scanner without ever passing through the assembly line. Industrial culture had been urban, modernist, sometimes radical, often Catholic and Jewish, and self-consciously international. Post-industrial culture, in contrast, spoke of Jesus with a drawl and of unions with a sneer, sang about Momma and the flag, and preached salvation in this world and the next.

This extraordinary biography of Wal-Mart’s world shows how a Christian pro-business movement grew from the bottom up as well as the top down, bolstering an economic vision that sanctifies corporate globalization.

Author Biography

Bethany Moreton is Assistant Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of Georgia.

Table of Contents

Prologue: From Populists to Wal-Mart Momsp. 1
Our Father's Americap. 6
The Birth of Wal-Martp. 24
Wal-Mart Countryp. 36
The Family in the Storep. 49
Service Work and the Service Ethosp. 67
Revival in the Aislesp. 86
Servants unto Servantsp. 100
Making Christian Businessmenp. 125
Evangelizing for Free Enterprisep. 145
Students in Free Enterprisep. 173
"Students Changing the World"p. 193
On a Mission: The Walton International Scholarship Programp. 222
Selling Free Tradep. 248
Epilogue: A Perfect Stormp. 264
Abbreviations in Notesp. 275
Notesp. 278
Acknowledgmentsp. 350
Indexp. 356
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Wonderful textbook August 8, 2011
Well-written, informative, and extensively documented, this textbook is a fascinating account. Moreton weaves together a great deal of history, dealing not only with Wal-Mart's development and growth but also the geo-political, religious, cultural, and economic contexts that supported the business enterprise. The author's scholarship is admirable and her writing style captures and holds a reader's attention all the way.
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To Serve God and Wal-Mart: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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