Beacon Press: Big-Box Swindle
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Big-Box Swindle

The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses

Author: Stacy Mitchell

Big-Box Swindle named a Booksense Pick for November 2006 and 2006 Book Sense Pick Highlight!

An expert’s in-depth exploration of the enormous impact of mega-retailers-and what communities and independent businesses can do

Large retail chains have become the most powerful corporations in America and are rapidly transforming our economy, communities, and landscape. In this deft and revealing book, Stacy Mitchell illustrates how mega-retailers are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising water pollution and diminished civic engagement.

Mitchell’s investigation takes us from the suburbs of Cleveland to a fruit farm in California, the stockroom of an Oregon Wal-Mart, and a Pennsylvania town’s Main Street. She uncovers the shocking role government policy has played in the expansion of mega-retailers and builds a compelling case that communities composed of many small businesses are healthier and more prosperous than those dominated by large chains.

More than a critique, Big-Box Swindle draws on real life to show how some communities are successfully countering the spread of mega-retailers and rebuilding their local economies. Mitchell describes innovative approaches-from cutting-edge land-use policies to small-business initiatives-that together provide a detailed road map to a more prosperous and sustainable future.
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“What Nickel and Dimed did for the Wal-Mart worker, Mitchell does for the community threatened by mega-retailers.” —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

“In the muckraking tradition of Fast Food Nation and Nickel and Dimed, this is a searing indictment of the impact of behemoth retailers (Wal-Mart, Costco, Best Buy, et al.) on this country, its landscape and small towns, as well as the global marketplace. An independent business activist from Maine fills this urgent book with eye-openers on every page, including many trenchant examples from the Northwest.” —John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer


Review: Business Week - January 1, 2007
“Her book is a prodigiously researched, lucidly written diatribe against mega-retailers... Category-killers, beware.”
Review: Sun Herald - December 31, 2006
"Big-Box Swindle is an eye-opener, especially as South Mississippians decide how to rebuild the Gulf Coast.”Read Full Review
Review: Guardian - December 6, 2006
“Mitchell’s new book, Big-Box Swindle, is a devastating critique of the social impact of big retailers on American life.”Read Full Review

Review: Seattle Post-Intelligencer - December 1, 2006
“…a galvanizing eye-opener that deserves the widest possible audience. This is one of those urgent, revelatory volumes that could change how many readers conduct their daily lives…Page after page of Big-Box Swindle unleashes a shocker or sometimes several about the power, pervasiveness and relentlessness of mega-retailers.”Read Full Review
Review: Society of Environmental Journalists - December 1, 2006
“This book is a valuable read for anyone who covers growth and development and the impacts of large businesses . . . Feisty and controversial.”
Review: Austin Chronicle - November 24, 2006
“There remain some publishers willing to face the book-chain heat; we have Beacon Press to thank for Mitchell's indeed fine and important book.”
Review: Chicago Reader - November 1, 2006
“…she raises issues that Chicago’s big-box debate hasn’t touched.”
Review: Booklist, boxed and starred review - October 15, 2006
“Mitchell has uncovered a movement to curb the proliferation of the mega-retailers and create policies that favor local enterprises. Her call to action reveals the hidden cost of those ‘low prices’ promoted by the big-box bullies and gives hope to local entrepreneurs and concerned citizens alike.”
Review: Deseret Morning News - October 15, 2006
“This is a well-written and informative book.”
Review: Publishers Weekly - September 11, 2006
“[Mitchell] has produced a compelling indictment of Wal-Mart and other “big box” stores, based on numerous national examples.”
Review by: Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature - July 13, 2006
"This is the ultimate account of the single most important economic trend in our country-the replacement of local businesses, and all they represent, with the big boxes. What Nickel and Dimed did for the Wal-Mart worker, Stacy Mitchell does for the community threatened by mega-retailers."
Review by: Reverend Billy, Leader of the Church of Stop Shopping - July 13, 2006
" "A great read! The big-box shadow looms over us mightily, but, as Stacy Mitchell documents, hundreds of communities have already saved themselves. She tells us how they did it and firmly invites us to step forward into the light. Change-a-lujah!"
Review by: Ben Bagdikian, author of The New Media Monopoly - July 13, 2006
"Big-Box Swindle is a well-researched and frightening book about an economic pandemic engulfing the United States…The big boxes are draining cities and towns of money and bankrupting neighborhood businesses that have long been the backbone of American communities. Big-Box Swindle is a book every citizen needs to read."
Review by: Kennedy Smith, former director, National Trust for Historic Preservation - July 13, 2006
"Stacy Mitchell provides an astonishing exposé of the broad-reaching implications of our shopping habits. Big Box Swindle should be required reading for everyone who cares about America's main streets, as well as a call to arms to small businesses everywhere to organize and take action."
Review by: Jim Hightower, national radio commentator, writer, and public speaker - March 28, 2006
"Through rich, real-life stories, Stacy Mitchell reveals that those 'low prices' so proudly promoted by big-box behemoths come at an intolerably high cost to our communities and culture. Can we beat the behemoths? Yes! And Mitchell shows us the way. Read on, take heart, and take action!"
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Big-Box Swindle

ISBN: 978-080703500-9
Publication Date: 11/15/2006
Pages: 336
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $24.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: Not currently available.
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