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UCSB Historian to Discuss Wal-Mart, the Future of U.S. Business

The Oct. 5 talk will be held in empty retail space on Calle Real in Goleta

A retail giant that began as a corner store in a small Arkansas town, Wal-Mart has become the largest private employer in the world. It is a typical U.S. business success story — or is it?

Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor of history at UCSB and author of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business, will answer this question and more in a talk sponsored by the UCSB History Associates on Oct. 6.

Lichtenstein’s talk, titled “The ‘Big Box’ Phenomenon: Wal-Mart and the Future of American Business,” will begin at 5:30 p.m. It will take place, appropriately, in an empty retail space at 5668 Calle Real in Goleta. A reception will start at 5 p.m.

The cost is $10 for UCSB History Associates and $12 for nonmembers. Registration is recommended, and can be arranged by calling the Department of History at 805.893.2991.

In addition to explaining how Wal-Mart changed the retail trade, international trade and America itself, Lichtenstein will discuss why so many communities have mobilized to keep the big-box retailer out of their neighborhoods, and what changes lie ahead for the huge retailer in the era of President Barack Obama.

Lichtenstein, who is also director of the UCSB’s Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy, is also the author of American Capitalism: Social Thought and Political Economy in the Twentieth Century.


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