There are two publications worth the time to read if one wants an overview of Amazon and how it affects communities.  So, if you only have time to spend on just 1 or 2 useful documents, I recommend the following.

The first was written in 2016 and deals mostly with US domestic situations.  It is broken down into digestible chapters.  It is also a free PDF that you can download and read at leisure.

79 page pdf

Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities

Here is also the link to find it on the Churchill Future website.

The second book needs to be purchased.  I purchased my copy directly from the publisher.

The Cost of Free Shipping:  Amazon in the Global Economy

It can also be found on Amazon when searched by title.

Published in 2020, references are more current, and it takes an international perspective.

The result is a book that is informative but panders a bit to Amazon. The lack of analysis in general and insight into how these rules might apply to your business is a major gap in this book. It’s a gap that Charan should have filled beyond providing a page at the end of each chapter for recording your observations about the practice.

“What would Jeff do?” Since leaving Amazon to advise start-ups and corporations, John Rossman has been asked this question countless times by executives who want to know “the secret” behind Amazon’s historic success. In this step-by-step guide, he provides 50½ answers drawn from his experience as an Amazon executive – and shows today’s business leaders how to think like Amazon, strategize like Bezos, and beat the competition like nobody’s business.

Retailers must beware, but they are not the only ones. Information providers, health care providers, pharmaceuticals, banks, financial services, and travel providers also must deal with Amazon’s potential reach – and Amazon has not even fully entered these segments.

In this exceptional book, James Bloodworth sets out to work among “that now permanent class of people who live a fearful and tumultuous existence characterised by an almost total subservience to the whims of their employers”. While he was walking the miles of corridors in Amazon’s Rugeley warehouse, a comparison between today’s gig economy and yesterday’s Soviet Union hit him. All around were admonishments “to workers to feel joyful at the prospect of struggle”. Socialist realism had mutated into corporate uplift. In a Staffordshire warehouse the size of 10 football pitches, feelgood slogans were plastered next to pictures of beaming workers. “We love coming to work and miss it when we are not here!” they announced.

An eye-opening, unrelenting exposé that uncovers the brutal wages of modern global capitalism. A natural choice for fans of Nickel and Dimed.

Jeff Bezos, is prone to bold pronouncements about Amazon’s ambitions and opaque disclosures about where and how the company actually makes money.  “Working Backwards” is a lot closer to an authorized corporate profile than a tell-all, however, does not necessarily detract from its interest.

Amazon has developed a reputation for incredible ruthlessness, stemming from its less-than-straightforward dealings with publishers along with programs such as “the Gazelle Project,” so named because Bezos once suggested that Amazon should approach small publishers the same way a cheetah approaches a sick gazelle. Stone quotes an observer as saying that Amazon executives “have an absolute willingness to torch the landscape around them to emerge the winner.”

The book is instead an economic history of the country, shaped by an intimate introduction to people living and working in Amazon’s shadow as their home cities and states transform around them.

This book explores whether Amazon has what it takes to become a credible grocery retailer, and as it transitions to bricks and mortar retailing, investigates whether Amazon’s stores can be as compelling as its online offering. Exploring the ecommerce giant’s strategies, Amazon offers unique insight into how innovations such voice technology, checkout-free stores and its Prime ecosystem, will fundamentally change the way consumers shop

Although not about Amazon it is relevant that Amazon now has the permits to ship its own containers of products from China, just like Maersk.  Just as it now dominates the small package delivery industry, and is now a major player in air delivery, it is set to be a dominate player in worldwide shipping at sea.

Book review on the Churchill Future site, with chapter 4  available for free to read, discussing the history of Churchill with Westinghouse at the beginning.


A dated book on the company, but interesting when compared to where Amazon is now to 2012 when the book was written.  In general a favorable look at the company