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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

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Rick Adamson

9 Hours 0 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

February 2001

Audio Book Summary

Fast Food Nation - the groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that has changed the way America thinks about the way it eats - and spent nearly four months on the New York Times bestseller list - now available on cassette!

Are we what we eat? To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Though created by a handful of mavericks, the fast food industry has triggered the homogenization of our society. Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelling the juggernaut of American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.

Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from the California subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths - from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains' efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities. Schlosser then turns a critical eye toward the hot topic of globalization - a phenomenon launched by fast food.

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  • Slava L

    I just wanted to read this book to find out some more interesting stuff that isn't published in newspapers. What I've learned is that even though the book is written in 2001, not much had changed since. Especially when I've read about new outbreaks of bad stuff in food in during summer of 2010. That is almost 9 years since the book came out and most of it I think is still applicable today. So, everyone who buys stuff to eat at home and buy food at restaurants should read this book. Just like any FDA warning label. Should be made a part of that label for everyone to know.

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  • Randy P

    Interesting facts about the history, structure, innovations in the fast food industry. The author beats you to death with his solutions to current problems. These solutions have been tried through out history and have failed.. eg. a labor union for fast food workers... lets see raise wages so a McDonald's employee can pay dues to an organization that is going to look out for them. Right. The issue with fast food is you and I. We don't have the self control to watch what we eat.

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  • alex1432

    I give the author credit for writing a well researched book. However I felt the book could flow a little better at times I didn't feel the chapters connected. There were human interest stories about specific people doing what is right/moral, but they didn't seem to lead anywhere as the next chapter was once again pointing out how bad our slaughterhouses are. This book is very honest on the conditions in the slaughterhouses if you are squeamish this book is probably not for you.

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  • Anonymous

    You might never eat a fast food burger again. Frightening and appalling. Very well written and the research seems solid. Put me right off fast food franchises. A very worthy listen.

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  • Bruce

    Really opened my eyes to some things and makes me not want to eat ... anything. Grayyyyyyt. It helped me realize in yet another way how our morality in social justice and our own health have been cashed in for convenience. I think I'm beginning to see the narrow path more clearly now ...

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  • Anonymous

    I have a much better eating habit after having read this book. Informative and entertaining.

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  • ML

    I was expecting … then read this book! I was expecting a book along the lines of Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me” movie. If “Supersize Me” is that ‘what’ of how fast food is affecting us as society, “Fastfood Nation” is the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what our streamlined feeding process has become and what it has done to our entire world. Very thoughtful and VERY scary. I have still not eaten at a fast food place since reading this book. I highly recommend this for all comers.

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  • Anonymous

    This is one of the best audio books I've ever listened to. I thought the whole thing was fascinating. I couldn’t listen to it fast enough.

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  • Anonymous

    What an eye-opening book. Propaganda? I think not. Schlosser pretty much tells it like it is. Anyone who clings to the sentimental but foolish notion that politicians aren't bought off by the lobbyists for the major industry associations would do well to avoid this book. The reality is that we the taxpayers are providing corporate welfare -- directly and indirectly -- to those who all but enslave a captive workforce to do their dirty work. Bravo.

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  • Anonymous

    This was a very interesting book. From the history of fast food restaurants to the conditions of the meat packing processes (from feed lot to ground beef) there was quite a bit of food for thought. It was enough to change my buying habits.

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