The Political Economy of Big Retail, Then and Now: The Story of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, With Marc Levinson
Long before Walmart and Amazon, there was A&P—The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company—which started as a mail-order tea business in the Civil War era before displacing Sears, Roebuck & Co. in the 1920s to become the world’s largest retailer. Its pioneering innovations made the mom-and-pop grocery business more efficient and less expensive, and in so doing it pitted consumer and civil rights advocates against small-business groups. Rob and Jackie sat down with historian and economist Marc Levinson, author of The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, to discuss the life and times of the company and how the debates around its growth resemble the antitrust debates we are having again today.
- Marc Levinson, The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger (Princeton University Press, 2008).
- Marc Levinson, Outside the Box: How Globalization Changed from Moving Stuff to Spreading Ideas (Princeton University Press, 2020).
- Marc Levinson, The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America (Marc Levinson, 2019).
- Robert D. Atkinson and Michael Lind, Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business (The MIT Press, 2018).