Here's a good long read for the day and worth a look even if the Wash. Post now requires free registration. A business writer goes on a Wal-Mart tour with Charles Fishman, the author of "The Wal-Mart Effect," a deeply reported look at the pros and cons of the retail chain's singular impact on business. There are pros (chiefly undeniably low prices) and cons (the manner in which those low prices are achieved -- low wages, environmental fallout, etc.).
P.S. Fishman will be in Little Rock for the Arkansas Literary Festival, Apr. 21-23.