Remember the A&P? It’s the True Story of Capitalism in America

Marc Levinson’s book “The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America” has it all: rugged capitalism, crony capitalism, big time rent seekers using political power to kill competition, and the defense of the “little guy” against the feared chain stores. It also outlines the destruction of the free market by the New Deal, gives details of the precursor to Walmart (Sam Walton did not invent the business model) and exemplifies some very nasty politics. A history of this iconic brand is a history of American business from the middle of the nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. In this Sunday’s encore episode, Marc joins Bob to put the attack on free enterprise in a fascinating historical perspective. The mistakes of history keep on repeating themselves and resilient businesses overcome these obstacles. This topic, this book, is simply great stuff. You’ll love it.